Spain’s U-21 manager Luis de la Fuente sees the value in young players heading to the Bundesliga for their club careers and also said that Marc Roca reminds him of Bayern Munich star Joshua Kimmich.
“Spanish talents like (Dani) Olmo, Marc Roca, or Angeliño have found a fantastic league in the Bundesliga, where young players like them are counted on. I think it’s a shame that players with this potential are not active with us in La Liga,” said De la Fuente in an interview with Tz. “I simply don’t understand it. Young players need confidence, and many are currently finding that in the Bundesliga. In Germany, the stars of tomorrow are built on early on.”
Discussing the potential for players to grow in Germany, De la Fuente hit on the subject of Bayern Munich’s seldom-used midfielder Marc Roca. De la Fuente thinks Roca will eventually prove himself in Bavaria.
“The future belongs to players like him. You shouldn’t forget that as a 24-year-old it’s not easy to assert yourself right away with a team like Bayern. He is already making his first appearances,” De la Fuente said of Roca, who has made just 10 appearance this season for the Bavarians. “In addition, the daily training alongside world stars will give him an extra boost. I’m sure he’ll be one of the cornerstones of the future in Munich.”
Tz, however, asked the natural follow-up question: Can Roca really establish himself with the presence of Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka already eating up most of the playing time in Bayern Munich’s double pivot?
De la Fuente thinks it is just a matter of time and opportunity before Roca can thrust himself into the mix.
“I can remember the first time I saw Joshua Kimmich play. He played with the youth national team against us first in midfield and then on the right back,” said De la Fuente. “I was deeply impressed by him even then. But Kimmich also needed his time to assert himself at Bayern Munich. It won’t be any different with Marc. He reminds me a lot of Kimmich just because of the versatility and the game intelligence.”
On the topic of the infamous 6-0 beatdown that Spain put on Germany back in December goes, De la Fuente thinks it is being overblown.
“And as far as the 0-6 loss is concerned, a single result should not cause an entire soccer nation to question itself,” said De la Fuente. “The same thing happened in Spain after the group exit at the 2014 World Cup. Suddenly, everything that had previously distinguished us was old-fashioned and no longer usable. Perhaps that is also the case in Germany today. However, in view of the youth structure and the large number of talented players, I am convinced that there is no cause for concern.”