Marc Roca sealed a move to Leeds United on Friday and promised his two seasons with Bayern Munich have hardened him for the challenge of the Premier League.
The 25-year-old defensive midfielder has joined Leeds for a reported £10million after struggling to establish himself in the Bayern first team.
He will be reunited with former Spain Under-21 team-mate Junior Firpo at Elland Road, as head coach Jesse Marsch rebuilds his squad after a close brush with relegation.
Roca described playing for Bayern, for whom he featured in 24 competitive games, as “something I will never forget”.
In a message posted on Twitter, Roca said: “I take with me 2 Bundesligas, 1 Club World Cup and 1 German Super Cup. But the most important things I take with me are great friends, unforgettable experiences, personal and professional growth and that victory lies in perseverance, hard work and never giving up.
“I leave Munich but Bayern will stay with me forever.”
That hard-work ethic will come in handy at Leeds, where the midfield was often found wanting in last season’s difficult Premier League campaign.
It remains to be seen whether Roca has been signed to replace Manchester City target Kalvin Phillips, but noises from the club have suggested that is not the case.
— Leeds United (@LUFC) June 17, 2022
Roca, who joined Bayern from Espanyol in October 2020, has agreed a four-year contract at Leeds, where he will find three fellow Spaniards in the first-team squad: Firpo, Diego Llorente and Rodrigo.
The new recruit, whose deal will take effect from July 1, told Leeds’ official website: “My first steps were in Spain, then I played in Germany, now it is time to join Leeds and play here in the Premier League.
“Everyone told me the Premier League is the best league in the world and the history of Leeds United is amazing, I hope we can do good things here.
“I have spoken with Junior Firpo, I played with him in the Spanish Under-21 national team, now it’s time to talk with Rodrigo and Diego Llorente as well. Then I can meet all my new team-mates and I can’t wait to start playing.
“Junior told me it’s an incredible club with an amazing atmosphere in the stadium and that the team-mates here are incredible, the locker room is incredible and for that I am very happy.”