Bengaluru, July 31: Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti has a lot of work to do this summer to make his side at least capable of fighting for European birth next Summer. And looking at Everton's team that can only be achievable with an overhaul.
The first thing the Italian is likely to target is a skilled midfielder in the middle of the pitch and as per latest reports, he has turned his attention towards Espanyol's young midfielder Marc Roca.
Everton have reportedly asked the Barcelona based club about the player although the same can be also said about the likes of Arsenal and AC Milan who are also believed to be in pursuit of the Spanish holding midfielder.
His season so far
The 23-year-old has been ever-present for Espanyol this season, making 42 appearances in all competitions so far. However, he could not stop his team from demotion but has earned rave reviews for his performances in defensive midfield.
He has averaged 0.8 key passes, 2.3 tackles, 0.9 interceptions, 1.4 clearances, 0.9 shots and 0.8 key passes per game in La Liga with a pass success rate of 81.1% in league football (stats via whoscored) which appears to be quite impressive. He has also scored 2 goals and provided 1 assist in the league this season, which is rare for a defensive midfielder.
Roca's current release clause stands at €40m million. But Espanyol are likely to consider offers in the region of €20m to €25m following their demotion to the second tier. Given his talent and age, this could be a massive bargain if Ancelotti can pull it off however they have to act fast, with AC Milan and Arsenal also apparently putting sincere efforts to land him.
Where can he fit in at Everton?
Everton have lacked the assurance from the defensive midfield section with other attackers busy in defensive duties rather moving the ball through midfield. The team also missed someone who would control the tempo of the game. They lacked a cover of the defence and someone who can be the bridge between the attack and defence.
Roca could be the perfect man for Ancelotti in this case. His addition will not only add some much-needed calmness to Carlo Ancelotti’s midfield but also his often long-range deliveries upfront make him an exciting fit for the Merseyside club.
With Morgan Schneiderlin recently leaving the side, he could be a direct backup of him and could be slotted into XI directly. At 23-year of age, the Spanish midfielder is slowly moving onto his prime age and surely playing under one of the best managers of World football could help him grow further.