By George Overhill

13th Sep, 2022 | 7:10am

Bayern Munich chief Hasan Salihamidzic praises bargaining chip Leeds United midfielder Marc Roca

Bayern Munich sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic has suggested Leeds United midfielder Marc Roca would not have made it at the Allianz Arena.

The Spanish former under-21 international signed from the German giants in the summer for £10million and has started every Premier League game since next to fellow new arrival Tyler Adams.

But after only making 24 appearances in total across two seasons with the repeat Bundesliga champions Salihamidzic has suggested he was signed as someone who they could sell on to fund bigger moves after Covid-19 disruptions to their usual revenue streams.

Speaking to The Times he said: “We tried to get in players who didn’t pose a financial risk but made it possible to generate sales afterwards that allowed us to get some top players in.

“A player like Marc Roca might not have quite made it but he’s nevertheless a really good player, an interesting player, who’s a starter for Leeds United [now].”

Faint praise

It may be true and it may have been said in the nicest way possible but it would still have been frustrating during Roca’s time in Germany if he knew that all along.

He may have felt that Bayern could be a route to bigger and better things upon leaving Espanyol, but playing and performing regularly is always the best avenue compared to sitting on the bench.

Either way, if it was the Premier League he was hoping for he has found it now, and it has been an encouraging start to life under Jesse Marsch.

He may have been overshadowed somewhat by the fast start at Elland Road that Adams has produced, and indeed Brenden Aaronson ahead of him, but he looks to be settling in better as the games go by and scored his first goal in the loss to Brentford last time out.

It may be that he is the type of player whose style of play is never going to be as eye-catching as others, but still plays an important role.

His manager hasn’t seen fit to put anyone else into the starting line-up so he can’t be doing too badly so far.

And ultimately the proof was probably in the pudding at Bayern from the infrequency that they were using him, and there is no shame as a professional in not quite being up to the standard of one of the biggest teams in the world.

It looks to have turned out as United’s gain for not too much outlay, and he will hope his string of starts continues for a long time yet while the team’s results pick back up.

In other Leeds United news, Phil Hay has given his thoughts on how the Manchester United postponement it going to contribute negatively to the club.