Max Wober interview: Leeds United's first January signing 'will play wherever the team needs me'

Max Wober's willingness to play anywhere for Leeds United will give them more defensive options for the second half of the season after the 24-year-old became their first signing of the January transfer window.

The Austrian international arrives from Red Bull Salzburg for a fee understood to be in the region of £14m.

Save for two early-season games, Salzburg have used Wober at left-back this season but when he played under Marsch there it was almost always at centre-back.

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His left-footedness and 6ft 2in of height certainly gives the Whites more options.

New Leeds signing Max Wober (Picture: LUFC)New Leeds signing Max Wober (Picture: LUFC)
New Leeds signing Max Wober (Picture: LUFC)

Liam Cooper and Pascal Struijk are the only senior centre-backs who favour that foot, and Struijk has been needed at left-back all season. The club's only senior specialist, Junior Firpo, has been restricted to one Premier League start in 2022-23 and the regular choice, Stuart Dallas, is recovering from a broken leg.

Fortunately Wober is relaxed about how he is used.

"I will play wherever the team needs me, it doesn’t matter if it is left-back, centre-back or as a number six (holding midfielder), I’m fine with everything and will give my best," he said.

“I’m experienced at left-back and I really like it, especially being more offensive.”

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Pen to paper - Max Wober at Leeds United (Picture: LUFC)Pen to paper - Max Wober at Leeds United (Picture: LUFC)
Pen to paper - Max Wober at Leeds United (Picture: LUFC)

It has been a feature of sporting director Victor Orta's transfer policy to supply Marsch with players he knows from previous clubs. Summer signings Rasmus Kritensen and Brenden Aaronson also played for Salzburg, and Tyler Adams worked under him at New York Red Bulls.

As well as flexibility, Wober should bring personality. He dealt with being the Austrian Bundesliga's most expensive signing when Marsch signed him from Sevilla in 2019, and has also played for Ajax. He also captained Salzburg.

“I’ve already seen a lot, I’ve played for Ajax and Sevilla along with three-and-a-half years with Salzburg," he commented.

“Coming to Leeds, a club with such a big history and tradition, is definitely something special and was always a dream for me growing up. Arriving at Elland Road feels amazing.

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“Some of my biggest strengths are my personality and character, I’m never going to give up on the pitch, it doesn’t matter what score it is, I’ll give everything for this badge.

“I have to work hard to get into the team and play well to get accepted in the dressing room."

He has a head-start in that he knows Marsch's high-intensity methods, and a couple of his new team-mates.

“I’ve spoken to Rasmus Kristensen, he asked if I was following him again after spending time together at Ajax and Salzburg," joked Wober. "We were neighbours at our old clubs and now we will be neighbours again.

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“One of the most difficult parts about coming to a new club is feeling settled and it is always easy when you have connecting points.

“I know what Jesse Marsch wants and having played with Brenden Aaronson and Rasmus will help me get connected to the team quicker.”

With Wober awaiting international clearance and a work permit he will not make his debut at home to West Ham United tonight.

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