The World Cup is upon us and Leeds United will have a handful of representatives in Qatar.
Leeds fans will have an eager eye on Brenden Aaronson and Tyler Adams with the USA, as they face off with both England and Wales at the Group Stage, looking to guide an exciting young national team into the knockout stages.
Rasmus Kristensen is another of Leeds’ summer signings that’s on the plane to Qatar.
The right-back is set to be part of Denmark’s squad as they look to deliver on the dark horse tag they’ve landed heading into the tournament.
In truth, there could have been far more Leeds representation at the World Cup, with a number of players unlucky to be missing out.
We take a look at THREE of those players here:
Illan Meslier – France
Hugo Lloris will be France’s No.1 at the World Cup and we aren’t suggesting that Meslier should be in the squad as a first-choice.
However, when three goalkeepers are selected, one of which is simply there in case the other two simply cannot play, it’s worth considering someone that has the potential to be your future No.1 for years to come. At 22-years-old and fast approaching 100 Premier League appearances, Meslier is that man.
It’s not like his performances in a Leeds shirt this season haven’t deserved it either, he’s been superb for Jesse Marsch over 14 Premier League fixtures.
As per Wyscout, Meslier has made 49 saves in the Premier League this season, 71.4% of which using reflexes. He’s conceded 26 times, which is above his xCG of 21.42, but it’s worth noting that he works overtime with the amount of chances Leeds cough up as a side.
His performance in Leeds’ 2-1 win at Liverpool in late October underlined his quality and he deserved a place on the plane as France’s third-choice.
Robin Koch – Germany
Koch appears to have fallen down the pecking order completely when it comes to Germany since he joined Leeds in 2020.
Obviously he’s had some injury worries during that time, but he’s now playing the best football he has in a Leeds shirt and has been a positive in what’s been a relatively average campaign for Marsch’s defensive unit.
Koch averages 6.11 interceptions per 90 in the Premier League, as well as 10.54 recoveries and 2.89 clearances, alongside winning almost 70% of his defensive duels (Wyscout). He’s tidy with possession, too, averaging a pass success of 83.7% and only playing 1.95 backward passes per 90, underlining his progressive style.
It’ll be interesting to watch on and see whether Germany’s depth of centre-backs is any better than the Leeds man.
Quiz: 20 statements about Leeds United’s Robin Koch – Are they true or false?
Rodrigo Moreno – Spain
Rodrigo has been in fine goalscoring form for Leeds since the start of the season, scoring nine times in only 13 appearances in the Premier League. That includes a run that’s seen him hit the back of the net five times in only four appearances recently.
Spain do have a tendency to play without a focal point at major tournaments, whilst we aren’t disputing their past decision to move Rodrigo out of the squad – his form overall in two-and-a-half years at Leeds hasn’t justified it.
However, when you look at Alvaro Morata in the squad, he’s scored just six goals in 20 appearances for club and country this season, playing for a better club side in Atletico Madrid. That’s not really picking on form.
Rodrigo can count himself as unlucky to be missing out on the squad given the goals he’s delivered in a Leeds shirt this season.