Leeds United enjoyed a particularly busy transfer window this summer, with Victor Orta bringing no less than nine fresh faces to Elland Road prior to September’s transfer deadline – including the likes of Brenden Aaronson, Rasmus Kristensen, Tyler Adams, Luis Sinisterra and Marc Roca.
And, while the club’s big-money signings of Aaronson and Sinisterra have impressed since making their respective moves to Leeds this summer, it has arguably been the rather under-the-radar £10m signing of Roca who has brought the most to Jesse Marsch’s side so far this season.
Despite having started just ten of his 24 appearances for Bayern Munich after joining the Bundesliga side from Espanyol back in the summer of 2020, the former Spain U21 international has shown no signs of rust for the Whites this term, having already become a key player for Marsch.
Indeed, the £10.8m-rated talent has already proven well worth his minimal outlay over his nine Premier League appearances – all of which have come as starts – over which the midfielder has scored one goal, as well as made an average of 0.9 key passes, taken one shot – 0.4 of which have been on target – and completed 0.8 dribbles per game.
The 25-year-old has also impressed in metrics more typical of his position, making an average of 2.2 tackles, one interception and 0.7 clearances per fixture, in addition to boasting an average pass completion rate of 81%, playing 2.4 long balls and winning 4.6 duels – at a success rate of 57% – per game.
These returns have seen the player who David Cartlidge dubbed “ridiculously talented” average a simply sensational SofaScore match rating of 6.99, not only ranking him as the best performer of the Whites’ summer signings but also as the club’s third-best performer overall in the top flight so far in 2022/23.
These returns have seen the £40k-per-week Spaniard earn a significant amount of praise, particularly from Mundo Deportivo journalist Javier Alfaro, who stated of the playmaker in a post on Twitter prior to the Arsenal match: “Marc Roca’s growth this year has been exponential in every way. Leeds benchmark in just a few months. He deserves it.”
As such, while it is true that both Aaronson and Sinisterra are extremely exciting additions – registering four goal involvements between them – Orta’s signing of Roca has undoubtedly proven to be the director of football’s best of the summer, with the 25-year-old very much looking to have been an absolute steal for just £10m.