Arsenal are currently leading the race to sign Espanyol midfielder Marc Roca, it has been reported.
The Spanish side are currently languishing at the bottom of the Primera Liga table, and it is quite likely that several of their first-team players, including Roca, will leave should they get relegated.
Roca has a release clause of £35million, but Espanyol might have to settle for a much lesser fee for him, as per La Razon (via Express).
Mikel Arteta is an admirer of Roca, but signing him will not be straight forward as AC Milan and Everton are also interested.
Marc Roca – What will he add to Arsenal?
Marc Roca would be a good option for Arsenal, and he is likely to come cheap. Roca, currently 23, has the abilities that would complement Matteo Guendouzi in midfield.
With Mesut Ozil’s career going downhill, and Granit Xhaka digging his own grave at Arsenal, there will be plenty of opportunities for Roca to fit into the central midfield area almost immediately.
Roca is good at finding his teammates with through balls, and his distribution from the central midfield area is exactly what Arsenal are missing right now.
But his ability to shield the backline could make him a more valuable asset for the Gunners. Roca has averaged 2.4 tackles this season in the Primera Liga, and can put a foot in when needed.
Arsenal’s defending has shambolic this season, and one of the reasons is the lack of protection from the midfielders. With Roca in the team, the defence will have a bit more support.
The Gunners can perhaps use a 4-3-3 formation around him, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, and Nicolas Pepe playing as the front three. Roca would be more than happy to play the role of a supplier, alongside Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira or whoever Arteta deems fit.
Considering the midfielder’s age, he would be a long-term prospect for the Gunners. Arsenal need to get their midfield right if they are to compete with the teams above them in the Premier League as it is essential for Arteta’s blueprint, and Roca’s arrival could certainly help them with the objective.
Stats via Whoscored