Leeds star tipped to replace Rice at West Ham as ‘ideal opportunity’ sees 2022 signing agree exit

Jason Soutar
Leeds trio Tyler Adams, Marc Roca and Illan Meslier during the win at Liverpool.
Tyler Adams, Marc Roca and Illan Meslier during Leeds' win at Liverpool.

Marc Roca will reportedly leave Leeds United for Real Betis ‘except for an unexpected last-minute twist’ with Tyler Adams also expected to move on this summer.

Leeds bought both midfielders last summer with Jesse Marsch looking to deploy them in a pivot behind Brenden Aaronson, who was signed from RB Salzburg for a whopping £25million.

This new-look midfield did not produce the results needed to stay in the Premier League, unfortunately for the Elland Road faithful.

Adams did enjoy a solid season from a personal standpoint and is not expected to stay at the club following their relegation to the Championship.

Aaronson is the most likely of the three to stay and a year in the second tier could be exactly what he needs.

Roca, meanwhile, showed his ability in fits and starts but was often found out and would struggle whenever he was not playing alongside his American partner, Adams.

The former Bayern Munich midfielder is set to leave Leeds for Spanish outfit Betis, according to El Desmarque (via Sport Witness).

A move will come to fruition barring ‘an unexpected last-minute twist’ with Betis boss Manuel Pellegrini a big fan of the player.

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Betis have apparently followed Roca since his Bayern days and view Leeds’ relegation as the ‘ideal opportunity’ to finally get their hands on him.

Roca has a clause in his contract that allows him to leave on loan to a club willing to pay his wages, with no loan fee being paid to Leeds.

Meanwhile, Adams has been linked with a move to Aston Villa for quite a while, and there is now reported interest coming from West Ham after they agreed to sell Declan Rice to Arsenal for an initial £100m.

Former Leeds goalkeeper Paul Robinson thinks Adams could be an ideal replacement for Rice after shining in a poor Whites team, much like James Maddison did for Leicester City, who were also relegated in 2022/23.

“In a similar way to James Maddison, he’s stood out in a team that struggled,” Robinson told MOT Leeds News.

“He was a key player for Leeds last season and stuck out like a sore thumb when he was missing. He will go onto bigger and better.

“I think West Ham will obviously be looking at him as a replacement for Declan Rice. But I think there will be a lot of suitors out there for Adams, I really do.”

Former United States defender Alexi Lalas thinks a move to Villa Park would suit Adams very well after impressing more than fellow Americans Aaronson and Weston McKennie.

“I don’t want to see Tyler Adams play in the Championship,” Lalas said on the State of the Nation podcast.

“I would love to see this [move to Aston Villa]. I’ll put Tyler Adams up against anybody.

“I think of the trio of Adams, McKennie and Aaronson, Tyler is the most valuable and did himself the best in terms of the way he is viewed.”

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