Leeds United are closing in on their third signing of the summer…
What’s the word?
According to the Daily Mail, the Yorkshire giants are in talks to sign Bayern Munich midfielder Marc Roca, who is free to leave the Bundesliga champions, in a £10m deal.
It’s thought that Leeds director of football Victor Orta believes the Spaniard would be an ideal fit for the Premier League and that manager Jesse Marsch is also keen to sign him.
Premier League rivals West Ham United are also credited with interest but David Moyes is looking elsewhere.
The Whites have already signed RB Salzburg duo Brenden Aaronson and Rasmus Kristensen, so Roca could be their third major move ahead of the 2022/23 campaign.
Similar to Jorginho
After bolstering attacking midfield and the right flank, it would make sense to add another piece to the engine room, and one that is more defensively minded.
Roca fits the bill as the perfect signing for Marsch, his system and the gaps currently left in his squad.
The 25-year-old has struggled for game-time at Bayern, largely due to a string of injuries and the sheer competition, with Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka ahead of him in the pecking order.
However, whenever he has been given an opportunity or is fit, he has impressed, as claimed by BBC Sport’s Raj Choban, who said:
“Marc Roca to Leeds. I like it a lot. He impressed me in the run of games he got in December/January when Kimmich & Goretzka were injured,” he said. “Good defensive positioning & passing range. He’s the best Kalvin Philips replacement as a 6 that they could get. Or even to play with Phillips.”
Is spending £10m on Roca good business for Leeds?
Indeed, that reinforces the view of journalist Joe Donnohue, who described Roca as a “smooth operator” who can “steady the tempo & pick valuable forward passes”.
Fear not, Leeds fans – the former Espanyol powerhouse could be the perfect double-pivot partner to Kalvin Phillips, rather than his replacement.
That’s because Adam Forshaw has struggled to keep fit, Mateusz Klich has struggled for form, and both Pascal Struijk and Robin Koch are centre-backs by trade.
As per FBRef, Roca has plenty of similar characteristics to Chelsea midfielder Jorginho (and even Spurs’ Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg).
The £45k-per-week brute ranks inside the top 7% of his positional peers across Europe for pressures (24.85 per 90), top 8% for passes attempted (70.63 per 90) and top 13% for progressive passes (5.67 per 90).
That makes him appear to be the perfect link between defence and attack and in Marsch’s pressing system, he could fit like a glove, especially with the power of Phillips next to him.
In the 6-foot Roca, Leeds could sign their very own Jorginho and given his successes in England, it could prove to be a bargain £10m spent.
AND in other news, Orta must now ruthlessly axe Leeds’ £30m “worst signing”, he’s been “hellaciously bad”…