Sunday, October 2, 2022

Barcelona Eyeing A Bargain Deal For This Manchester City Defender: Should Guardiola 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, Mundo Deportivo has revealed that Barcelona are eyeing a bargain deal for Manchester City defender Eric Garcia during the January transfer window. However, it is believed that the Catalans will only sign the Man City centre-back if he is available for less than €10m this winter (transcripted and translated by Sport Witness).

Garcia’s Diminishing Status At Manchester

Garcia has so far struggled to secure regular game time as he has fallen behind the likes of Ruben Dias, Aymeric Laporte, Nathan Ake and John Stones in the Etihad Stadium pecking order. The Barcelona-born player has only made four appearances for the club this term across all competitions.

The 19-year-old had hardly featured for Pep Guardiola’s side over the past few weeks but has experienced a solid season in the last term when he established himself as a valuable member of the Man City squad. Garcia was involved in 20 games for the Mancunian giants in the previous campaign, securing one assist and one yellow card on all fronts.

The talented teenager did well to average 0.5 tackles, 1.4 interceptions, 2.4 clearances and 0.5 dribbles per 90 minutes in the 2019-20 Premier League season. He even distributed possession with remarkable accuracy out from the back as evident from his pass success rate of 93.1% in league football (stats via whoscored).

Barcelona eyeing a bargain deal for Manchester City's Garcia who is smiling in the photo
Eric Garcia of Manchester City looks on as he waves to fans after the FA Youth Cup Sixth Round Match between AFC Bournemouth U18 and Manchester City U18 at Vitality Stadium on February 26, 2019, in Bournemouth, England. (Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images)

What Are The Spanish Prospect’s Best Attributes?

Standing at 1.83m, Garcia is a strong, ball-playing defender who can read the danger quickly that helps him to make some crucial interceptions for his team. He can also position himself ideally to make a clearance at the back when needed.

The Spaniard is proficient at passing the ball out from defence but can sometimes lack the pace to get back when the opposition is looking to threaten on the counter. At 19, he still has a lot to learn, but the early signs have been quite promising during his time at the blue half of Manchester.

Should Man City Cut Garcia Loose In January?

At the moment, Guardiola has got enough depth in his centre-half department to cope with Garcia’s potential departure this winter. He has less than a year remaining on his current deal with Man City, so if Barca end up making a bargain offer, then Guardiola should consider letting him go. Otherwise, the Spanish head coach will risk losing him for free when his contract runs out at the end of this campaign.

Unless there are any major injuries in the coming weeks, Man City do not have too many reasons to keep hold of Garica, so they should contemplate selling him when the transfer window reopens at the start of next year.

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