Leeds United signed both Marc Roca and Tyler Adams after losing Kalvin Phillips to Manchester City in the summer, and Roca has responded after being asked by Marca if he was brought to Elland Road to replace the England star.
The 25-year-old has formed a formidable partnership in a new-look midfield, following the departure of Phillips. But it is a completely different system with Jesse Marsch in place. Phillips hardly played for Leeds last season.
Roca and Adams are complimenting eachother superbly well. While Adams is more of a hard-working, combative, aggressive, defensive-minded type player, Roca is the one to get on the ball and create. They can do a bit of both.
Have they replaced Phillips? Well, Roca responded to the question posed to him by Marca’s new channel, Fish & Twitch. He says he does not see it like that, more as though he was struggling for game time at Bayern Munich.
Leeds wanted a midfielder and he agreed to join: “I’ve never thought as though I’ve come to replace Kalvin. I know Kalvin has been a very important player here at Leeds. I know he is an important person to the club and it’s fans.
“But I spent two years at Bayern, didn’t get the minutes, and came here with a personal challenge to give my best and help the team. I am giving 100%. I’m happy with how I’m playing,” £64k-a-week Roca said, this week.
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Roca asked if he was brought to Leeds to replace Phillips
Is it as simple as saying that Roca and Adams have replaced Phillips? Or is it a new era at Leeds in which the duo are combining to form a new-look midfield, in a new-look side, under a new manager in Marsch? Surely, it is the latter.
Phillips used to dictate the midfield with his long, raking balls out wide. But he lacked the agility, especially by himself, to give the Leeds defence an effective blanket. It saw other sides score plenty of goals against Leeds.
Roca and Adams do it much more effectively, not just because it is two of them. Their agility and work rate is superior to Phillips. While Phillips is a lot better in terms of passing and aerially, these two provide the energy.