Danny Murphy has told TalkSPORT this week that Leeds United midfielder Marc Roca has not got the legs to play in the Premier League, after another struggling performance on Monday night during a 6-1 defeat to Liverpool.
Roca, 26, was a £10m signing in the summer from Bayern Munich. It comes after he joined Bayern in the summer of 2020 from Espanyol, but managed just 24 outings in two seasons for the German champions. Leeds made a move.
He has since eclipsed the total of Bayern outings by some distance in less than one season at Leeds. Indeed, Roca has played every minute for Leeds in our last five League games. But it is interesting to note, that it is a new trend.
In the previous 26 League games, Roca completed 90 minutes on four occasions – missing four of those entirely. The midfielder seemed lethargic on Monday night, perhaps tired from his recent exploits. Murphy questioned him.
“[Marc] Roca hasn’t got the legs to play at this level, tries his best but he hasn’t got the legs,” Murphy said. “If he does play, he’s got to play in a three, not a two. I mean you’ve got to know your players haven’t you, surely?”
Danny Murphy says Leeds midfielder Marc Roca has not got the legs
It is a damning verdict. But one that perhaps his true somewhat, given his form having started to see out matches – which is fair to say, has dropped. Under Jesse Marsch, Roca rarely exceeded 70 minutes when starting games.
Now, Leeds lack the cover. We need Roca given he is the best option available really, alongside Weston McKennie, with Tyler Adams injured. Adam Forshaw is back after an injury but he is lacking in match fitness enormously.
While Murphy is probably right, Gracia has little other option than to start Roca when we go to West London and face Fulham this weekend. The Whites have got to avoid defeat if we are to get ourselves out of the mire this term.