Barcelona inflicted the worst pain possible on their local rivals Espanyol yesterday. Luis Suarez’s solitary goal kept Barca in La Liga’s title race but ended any hopes Los Periquitos had of survival.
Espanyol are now relegated after a dismal 2019-20 campaign that defies belief, considering the level of talent available to the club. It is the first time Espanyol have been relegated since 1993 and a huge drop-off from last season’s seventh-placed finish.
But whilst it is desperately disappointing for Espanyol fans, Arsenal might be licking their lips at the development.
Arsenal have been heavily linked with a potential move for Espanyol’s talented young midfield maestro Marc Roca.
The 23-year-old, who has been compared in playing style to former Spain and Liverpool star Xabi Alonso, is now surely on his way as Espanyol look to raise much-needed funds with the player unlikely to want to play second-tier football.
Last summer Roca helped Spain win the European Under-21 Championships alongside current Arsenal loanee Dani Ceballos, catching the eye with his impressive displays.
Last month, SPORT reported that Arsenal had made an initial offer for Roca, who carries a €40 million (£36m) release clause and Calciomercato later suggested the offer from Arsenal was likely in the £22.5 million region.
Arsenal are now surely in a strong position to get their hands on Roca with the right offer, although the likes of Everton and Bayern Munich are also said to be keen.
But now Espanyol are relegated Arsenal might want to move fast to get themselves to the front of the queue to sign this potential superstar.