Friday, September 29, 2023

Barcelona Boss Keen On Sealing A Move For Manchester City Defender: Should Pep Let Him Go?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent print edition, Sport has claimed that Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman is keen on sealing a January move for Manchester City defender Eric Garcia. It is understood that the Barca manager is ‘more than likely to order’ his club to acquire the services of the Man City youngster when the transfer window reopens later this winter (transcripted and translated by Sport Witness).

Garcia’s Impressive Spell At The Etihad Stadium

The 19-year-old has been a sporadic feature for the Mancunian outfit over the past 18 months. Garcia has made four appearances for Pep Guardiola’s senior team this season and has done well to average 2.5 tackles, 1.5 interceptions, 2.5 clearances, 0.5 shots and 0.5 key passes per 90 minutes in the Premier League so far. He has even been very accurate with his ball-distribution out from the back as evidenced by his pass completion rate of 95.5% in top-flight football (stats via whoscored).

The Spanish whizkid began his youth career at Barcelona, so he could be tempted to seal a return back to his former club during the January transfer period. At such a young age, Garcia has already featured in 27 senior matches for Man City, picking up one assist across various competitions.

However, the Barcelona-born prospect currently finds himself behind the likes of Ruben Dias, Aymeric Laporte and Nathan Ake in Guardiola’s pecking order. He has also got to compete with John Stones for a regular spot on the bench. With less than a year remaining on his current contract at the Etihad Stadium, it’s high time that Garcia completed a switch away from Manchester in search of greener pastures in the years to come.

Koeman keen on sealing January move for Man City's Garcia who is seen in the picture
Eric Garcia of Manchester City reacts during the Premier League 2 match between Arsenal and Manchester City at Meadow Park on January 14, 2019, in Borehamwood, England. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

What Does The Spanish Wonderkid Bring To The Table?

Garcia has already established himself as one of the best young centre-backs in Premier League football as he can deal with the danger quickly and is not shy of clearing his lines when under pressure from the opposition inside his half. He is a decent tackler and can pull off some important interceptions for his side at the back.

The Spanish starlet is proficient at retaining possession and hardly gives away the ball when passing it out of defence. However, he needs more first-team opportunities if he wants to develop as a player with each season.

Should Man City Allow Garcia To Leave In January?

At the moment, the reigning EFL Cup champions are well-stocked in the defensive department, so they can afford to sanction Garcia’s departure this winter. The Spaniard is surplus to requirements at the Etihad Stadium and could benefit a lot from sealing a return to his boyhood club where he could walk in the footsteps of Gerard Pique.

With his current deal set to run out at the end of this campaign, Guardiola would be wise to cash in on him in January by getting a bargain fee for the player or else risk losing him for free next summer. Either way, it is only fair to Garcia if Man City cut him loose so that both the player and the club can move on in search of more success in the future.

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