Thursday, October 6, 2022

Manchester City Refused To Give Up Garcia For This Barcelona Playmaker: Did Pep Make The Right Call?

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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 report, the Daily Mail has claimed that Manchester City refused to give up Eric Garcia for Barcelona playmaker Rafinha Alcantara on deadline day. It is understood that the Catalans giants were willing to sacrifice the Brazilian midfielder to bring Garcia to the Nou Camp, but Man City decided to decline such a proposal on Monday night (via The Daily Mail).

Rafinha’s Season Of Mixed Emotions At Celta Vigo

The South American midfielder has now decided to join Paris Saint-Germain on a three-year contract. He experienced a frustrating season while on loan at Celta Vigo in the last term when he struggled to be fruitful in the attacking third. Rafinha was involved in 33 matches for Óscar García Junyent’s team in the previous campaign, registering four goals and two assists on all fronts.

However, the Brazilian attacker deserves a pat on the back for his overall contributions in midfield as he averaged 2.4 tackles, 1.1 interceptions, 0.7 clearances, 1.1 shots, 0.8 key passes and 2.1 dribbles per 90 minutes in the 2019-20 La Liga campaign. The Sao Paulo-born sensation even took care of the ball well when distributing it in the opposition half after making 87.1% of his attempted passes in top-flight football (stats via whoscored).

Rafinha has won a lot of silverware during his time at the Nou Camp, so making a switch to Paris makes sense for him at this stage of his football career. The 27-year-old is good enough to fight for a regular starting place in any top-flight club across Europe, but whether he can break into the world-class bracket, remains to be seen.

Manchester City refused to give up Garcia for Rafinha Alcantara who is seen in the picture
Rafinha Alcantara of FC Barcelona looks on during the Liga match between Athletic Club and FC Barcelona at San Mames Stadium on August 16, 2019 in Bilbao, Spain. (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)

What Are The Brazilian International’s Best Attributes?

Rafinha is a technically gifted footballer who is proficient at retaining possession of the ball even when he is dribbling with it out of tight spaces in the offensive end of the pitch. He doesn’t need a second invitation when given time and space to strike the ball from long range. However, the two-time Brazilian international has to add more goals and assists to his game if he wants to stay relevant at the highest level.

Did Man City Make The Right Call By Not Giving Up Garcia For Rafinha This Summer?

Garcia’s current contract at the Etihad Stadium runs out at the end of this campaign which is why Pep Guardiola should have let him go for a fee or in exchange of a player like Rafinha during the recently concluded transfer window. However, his refusal to do so would now mean that Garcia will be free to sign a pre-contract agreement with another club in January if the Mancunian giants fail to tie him up on a new deal before then.

At the same time, a player of Rafinha’s skillset would have struggled to earn regular first-team chances under Guardiola as the Spanish head coach already has enough depth in his attacking department. All in all, it seems like Man City have made a risky call by allowing Garcia to stay rather than swapping him out for Rafinha this summer.

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