Arsenal are in pole position to secure the services of Espanyol midfielder Marc Roca, who is tipped to cost less than his €40 million release clause.
According to La Razon, Arsenal have emerged as the most likely destination for Marc Roca this summer. The Espanyol midfielder has been courted by a host of top clubs across Europe, including Real Madrid, following a productive 2019/20 campaign.
However, the Spanish giants are also looking at other alternatives, including Rennes’ whizkid Eduardo Camavinga, who has been identified as a perfect replacement for Casemiro. As a result, Arsenal are now in the driver’s seat in the race to sign Roca. The report further claims that Espanyol could be willing to agree to a fee lower than his current €40 million release clause.
Mikel Arteta, in particular, has shown a particular interest in the services of Roca, who has indeed impressed the onlookers with his all-round gameplay this season.
The 23-year-old has been an ever-present figure in the Espanyol midfield, making 24 league appearances. His presence in the middle of the park has provided his club more security for the backline, even though the Catalans have conceded more goals than any other club in the Spanish top-flight so far.
As for as Arsenal are concerned, Roca’s addition to the team could be a smart one given their dearth of reliable options in the holding midfield role. Ex-club captain Granit Xhaka has enjoyed a remarkable turnaround under Arteta. But aside from him, no one else has already managed to stamp their authority.
There was a lot of hype surrounding Lucas Torreira and even Matteo Guendouzi. But both of them have failed to live up to the expectations, especially during the second half of the campaign. And with Dani Ceballos also set to return to Real Madrid at the end of the campaign, the acquisition of Roca could make sense.
The Spaniard is particularly known for his ability to break up the play or cut off passing lanes, thanks to his brilliant understanding of the game. He has also attained a commendable pass completion rate of 80% (per Whoscored), which is indicative of his all-round game. And those traits certainly tune in well under Arteta’s tactical setup that demands technicality.
Moreover, Roca can offer Xhaka the added incentive to go and fight for his place in the first-team, ultimately bringing out the best from the Swiss international. And amid a financial crisis, the fact that the player could be available for a cut-price certainly makes him a viable target for the Gunners this summer.