Milan continue to be paired with midfield reinforcements this summer, and the latest name that has been linked with a potential move is Espanyol ace Marc Roca.
As noted by MilanNews, the Rossoneri have made several enquiries for the 23-year-old and so it would appear as though he’s certainly on our radar, although it’s unlikely to be a low-cost investment as Sport add that he has a €40m release clause in his current contract which expires in 2022.
If that wasn’t problematic enough, it’s added that Arsenal are also keen on the talented Spaniard, and so we may well have two immediate obstacles in a potential swoop this summer.
So, who is Marc Roca?
Roca came through the ranks at Espanyol and has now made 108 appearances for the first team, bagging three goals and six assists in those outings.
Further, he has seven caps for Spain U21s to his name as he won the U21s European Championship last year, and is seemingly developing and maturing into a top player with an important future ahead of him still.
Predominantly used as a defensive midfielder, he can also operate a little further up the field. As seen in the video below, he has technical quality, a wide passing range, a touch of flair and creativity as well as a great left foot.
Further, he is tenacious and doesn’t shy away from a tackle as he regularly breaks up play, and so he would certainly add some more steeliness in our midfield if he did join as he goes about his business relatively quietly, but very efficiently.
That said, it could be argued that he’s a little too similar to Bennacer in that they both operate and thrive in similar areas of the pitch and are natural left-footers, and so trying to fit the pair into a midfield together and finding a balance would perhaps be problematic, unless Roca was deployed in the defensive role in front of the defence while Bennacer played on the left side of a midfield two or three.
Nevertheless, to add more of a balance to the side and perhaps an ideal partner for Bennacer in a double pivotal if we chose to play with two midfielders in front of the defence, there are other top talents and youngsters who we’ve been linked with who could be a better fit.
Take nothing away from Roca though, he’s certainly an impressive player and has great qualities. The fact that Milan and Arsenal are both interested in him arguably says a lot in itself, but time will tell if we decide to take our pursuit more seriously.
That €40m release clause will also surely be a problem as it has to be questioned whether or not he warrants such a hefty fee, and so if Milan are unable to bring that figure down significantly, it comes back to perhaps considering alternative targets with a string of young players like Samuele Ricci and Ryan Gravenberch coming to mind.