Roque Mesa: Swans Set Their Sights

As is always inevitable during the torrid break in football that is the summer, the transfer rumour mill continues its perpetual merry-go-round for clubs up and down the land. One of the latest whispers in shells doing the circuit is that Premier League side Swansea have set their sights on Las Palmas star Roque Mesa.

Roque Mesa - Las Palmas
Roque Mesa

The 28-year-old is said to be the subject of interest to the tune of around £11m, with Swansea keen to add quality to their squad in order to avoid another relegation threatened campaign. Mesa would certainly add another dimension to the midfield at the Liberty Stadium. His passing is among the finest in Spain, with a successful pass ratio of 91.4%. That may be impressive enough, but considering he made on average 70.8 passes per match there was much scope for that success rate to be much lower.

That distribution could prove key if Paul Clement can get his man next term. Mesa did not necessarily have the greatest average rating for performance last season, but his eye for picking out a team mate certainly aided a cause that was otherwise struggling. Las Palmas’ 14th placed finish in La Liga last season shows that there were few bright sparks on display – but Mesa on the ball surely proved one of them.

His link up with midfield regular Kevin-Prince Boateng gave a solid foundation around which the club could build their team. With the likes of Fernando Llorente and Jordan Ayew as targets, as well as having defenders the quality of Alfie Mawson behind him, Mesa could find himself settling in very well at the south Wales club.

Rumours did begin circulating recently, reported on, that Atletico Madrid could be set to hijack Mesa’s proposed move to the Premier League by keeping him in La Liga – at a much higher level of the table too – but Clement is a man who knows how to get quality into his team despite obvious obstacles.

The problem facing Atletico, however, is that they are banned from registering any new players until January 2018. That is the same ban that helped Antione Griezmann decide to remain with the club rather than make the switch to Man United, given that Atleti would struggle to adequately replace him.

Atletico could still try to get Mesa to agree a move and essentially “park” him for six months, but with Mesa keen to try and play his way into consideration for the Spanish national side it seems doubtful he would agree to such a move. Swansea, therefore, could offer him a new stage on which to perform, a different culture to absorb and a new challenge to conquer. What’s more, they could offer that immediately, and with the World Cup in Russia next summer that could prove just too tempting for the former Huracán man to either risk or resist.