Robert Andrich impresses Xabi Alonso in libero role

Due to suspensions to Jonathan Tah and Piero Hincapié, Robert Andrich played a different role for Bayer Leverkusen in their 1-1 draw against Freiburg on Sunday, impressing Xabi Alonso.

Deployed in midfield, Andrich played much more like a libero. Speaking after the game, Alonso said: “He played very, very well in that position. He was like a libero. He defended in the middle. Rob is a very important player for us with his character and personality. He always wants to win and is always there.”

Andrich complemented Edmond Tapsoba and Odilon Kossounou extremely well, Alonso added that: “A good midfielder can play that position and I think Rob enjoyed that.”

On whether Andrich playing a similar role in the future, Alonso said: “It’s a possibility for the future. It was important for us. Without Hincapié and Tah, we had to decide how to play and I think that was a good decision.”

Vincenzo Grifo opened the scoring for Freiburg after 28 minutes but Sardar Azmoun equalised just after the hour mark. A commendable draw against a team fighting for Champions League qualification, it’s a good response from B04 who lost 3-2 against Mainz the prior week.

Andrich (28) has also established himself as a key player at Bayer Leverkusen since his €6.5m move in August 2021. The former Union Berlin midfielder has played 28 games across all competitions for Leverkusen this season, 17 of which have come under Alonso.

GGFN | Daniel Pinder

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