In a recent interview with Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman addressed reports linking his side with Manchester City defender Eric Garcia when the transfer window reopens in January (transcripted and translated by Sport Witness). Koeman said, “Well, I don’t know. It depends on Manchester City.”
Garcia’s Man City Career Is Going Nowhere
The 19-year-old’s current contract at the Etihad Stadium is set to run out at the end of this campaign, so Man City will have no choice but to sell him on a cut-price fee during the winter transfer period or else lose him for free next summer.
Garcia has only featured in four matches for the Mancunian outfit this term, playing a total of 360 minutes in the process across all competitions. However, he finds himself behind the likes of Ruben Dias, Aymeric Laporte, Nathan Ake and John Stones in Pep Guardiola’s pecking order right now.
The Barcelona-born man has made a total of 27 appearances for Man City thus far and has got one assist to his name. Garcia ended the previous campaign with an average of 0.5 tackles, 1.4 interceptions and 2.4 clearances per game in the Premier League. He also distributed the ball accurately after completing 93.1% of his attempted passes in top-flight football last season (stats via whoscored).
What Will The Spanish Centre-Back Bring To The Nou Camp?
Garcia possesses good defensive awareness that allows him to sniff out the danger quickly at the back. He is proficient at playing his way out of defence and is usually a composed presence when in possession of the ball. Plus, the talented teenager is versatile enough to also fill in as a makeshift right-back if needed, which could make him a valuable squad player for any top club in Europe.
The Spaniard is not shy of clearing his lines when required and can also make some essential interceptions for his team. However, he is still quite inexperienced at the highest level and might not be the best answer to Barca’s defensive needs at the moment.
Is Garcia The Right Fit For The Catalans?
Garcia can learn a lot while working with an experienced centre-half like Gerard Pique and could potentially form a dominant defensive partnership with Clement Lenglet in the future. Plus, he is a great ball-playing defender which makes him an ideal fit for Barcelona’s style of play at Catalonia.
At 19, Garcia is a player on the rise and could potentially become a future star for Koeman’s side if he can engineer a way to seal a return to the Nou Camp in January or when his contract is up at the end of this season.