One to Watch: Julian Koch

Posted on June 17, 2011

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MSV Duisburg forced their way in to the limelight of German football after reaching the DFB Pokal final to meet Schalke in Berlin.

And on the way, they put Bundesliga sides Kaiserslutern and FC Koln to the sword before the end of January.

Duisburg’s 20-year-old defender Julian Koch put in two formidable performances in the two cup upsets but a nasty cruciate knee ligament injury in a match against Rot-Weiß Oberhausen put a end to the youngster’s season.

Koch will return to Borussia Dortmund in the summer following his year-long spell with Bundesliga.2 outfit MSV Duisburg.

However, the German U21 international will be out of action until the autumn after sustaining the injury in mid-February.

In his time with the ‘Zebras’, Koch played 22 times in the second-tier of German football, carving out a very positive reputation that attracted interest from German U21 coach Rainer Adrion who called the defender up for their clash with England in November.

Opportunities at Signal Iduna Park have been limited since he made his debut for Die Borussen’s second side in July 2008. The defender has made just two substitute appearances in the Bundesliga for Dortmund but has played over 50 times for the second team in the lower leagues.

But his loan-spell at the Schauinsland-Reisen Arena has enhanced his development and he even managed to net three times for Duisburg – including the decisive goal against Koln in the DFB Pokal clash. (2:50 in).

Koch featured mainly at right-back for Duisburg last season but is just as comfortable as a central-defender. The 20-year-old is not as attacking as most modern-day full-backs but uses his terrific physical abilities to offer support in attacking areas.

Standing at over 6ft, he is crucial at defensive set-pieces and is a threat at the other end of the pitch. As well as being dominant in the air, Koch’s timing in the tackle is excellent which is why he has proven to be a very useful player at centre-back and as a defensive-midfielder.

He has represented the German national team at every level, including the German U20 and U21 sides.

After Koch returns from his injury towards the end of 2011, the January window could be an opportunity for the 20-year-old to move away from the Westfalen if Mats Hummels and Neven Subotic continue their excellent form for Dortmund and restrict chances for the young defender.

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Posted in: Feature