Date: 14th June 2022 at 10:48am
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Leeds United are in talks with Bayern Munich for their Spanish central midfielder Marc Roca.

What’s the word?

That’s according to Fabrizio Romano, who confirmed the Whites’ interest in a tweet.

He notes the price that the German side will demand, and what other clubs may hold an interest.

“Leeds are progressing in talks with Bayern for Marc Roca. Bayern are asking for €15m fee, negotiations underway – Leeds hope to get the deal done this week,” the reliable journalist revealed.

“West Ham have also explored this possibility but Leeds are leading the race.”

Could be the perfect Phillips partner

A tough-tackling defensive midfielder with a hulking figure and the ability to play football for the very best, it appears that Roca could help give Kalvin Phillips the freedom to take his game to the next level.

The Spaniard has struggled this season for fitness due to a torn ankle ligament last summer which he never really recovered from. He managed just nine league appearances.

However, before his move to Germany just before the 2020/21 season, the 25-year-old had managed 35 league games in both the 18/19 and the 19/20 season.

His best year according to his overall SofaScore rating, in the 2018/19 campaign, saw him record an average rating of 6.97. This is impressive for a midfielder who normally goes unnoticed for the kind of work he will pride himself on.

Throughout this standout year, the £6.3m-rated man boasted one interceptions per game, 2.1 tackles per game and 1.7 clearances per game.

These kinds of defensive stats, whilst not outstanding, when merged with the work of Phillips will make for an industrious midfield for Jesse Marsch.

Phillips has proven for England that he can be something of a creative force with another defensive player beside him, and with Declan Rice and Roca similar in stature and statistics, perhaps this could be a masterstroke to unlock the 26-year-old’s attacking prowess.

His performances at the back end of last season earned huge praise from his manager Julian Nagelsmann, who claimed that he does not “usually praise individual players in front of the others but today he deserved it”, after his fine display against Stuttgart.

He followed it up by going on to say that “We know he’s a good footballer, but the way he fought and gave everything was impressive. I love the kind of players who prove the coach wrong and show him it was a mistake not to play them often”.

Marsch must act quickly to improve a threadbare squad that last season struggled so heavily with injuries, and adding a player of such high quality that could in turn promote the development of their homegrown fan favourite makes the move a no-brainer.

In other news, Orta must seal Leeds swoop for “powerful” 53-cap speed demon who can rival Bamford.

 

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