Leeds United transfers: Victor Orta always had Ben White alternative

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While it's hard to put any sort of downer on Leeds United's summer as they geared up for a return to the Premier League, the fact Ben White did not sign was a disappointment at the time. 

The defender was hugely impressive for the Whites on their route to promotion last season, averaging the most interceptions per game (via WhoScored) and amassing the highest pass completion percentage of any regular starter. 

A £25m bid was reportedly rejected in the summer though, according to The Athletic, Victor Orta already had an alternative in mind. 

According to Phil Hay, summer signing Robin Koch's arrival was years in the making.

The German international may have come into play as a realistic alternative once it was clear White would not be allowed to leave, but was reportedly on Orta's radar even during his time working for Middlesbrough. 

In fact, he was thought to be on the club's list even when White signed on loan from Brighton in the summer of 2019. 

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While Koch did make a mistake against Leicester City, the fact he has slotted straight into Leeds' first-team speaks to a clear philosophy when it comes to recruitment. 

With White no longer around after playing in forty-six games as Leeds conceded the fewest goals in the Championship, it's not out of the realms of possibility that a gaping hole could have been left. 

Though they aren't as tight defensively this season, its important to remember they are playing against elite teams now and four of the eighteen goals they've conceded came in one against champions Liverpool. 

On an individual basis, Koch leads the way for interceptions, mirroring White last season, so it's fair to say they've replaced at least some of the qualities last season with astute recruitment. 

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