Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Barcelona Planning To Make A January Push For This Defender: Why Koeman Needs To Get Him

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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 claimed that Barcelona are planning to make a January push for Manchester City defender Eric Garcia. It is believed that the Catalans are hoping to tie the Spaniard down to a contract so that they can recruit him for free next summer. By doing so, Barca are planning to push Man City into making a cut-price deal for him during the winter transfer period (translated and transcripted by Sport Witness).

Garcia’s Lack Of Game Time At Manchester This Season

The Barcelona-born youngster’s contract at the Etihad Stadium is nearing its end, so Pep Guardiola would have no choice but to sell him for a bargain fee in January or else risk letting him go for free at the end of this season.

Garcia is currently surplus to requirements at Manchester after falling behind the likes of Aymeric Laporte, Ruben Dias, Nathan Ake and John Stones in Guardiola’s pecking order. Hence, the 19-year-old will be desperate to end his Man City nightmare by sealing a return to the Nou Camp this winter.

The Spanish defensive ace has only made four appearances for the Mancunian club this term. Still, Garcia has done well to average 2.5 tackles, 1.5 interceptions, 2.5 clearances, 0.5 shots and 0.5 key passes per game in the Premier League so far. He has also been exceptional when distributing the ball out from the back after completing 95.5% of his attempted passes in the English top-flight (stats via whoscored).

Barcelona planning to make a January push for 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 Will The Spanish Centre-Back Add To Ronald Koeman’s Side?

Despite his lack of game time at the Etihad Stadium recently, there is no denying that Garcia has developed himself into a promising defender during his time under Guardiola’s tutelage. He remains calm under pressure and is often quick to deal with the danger inside his half.

The Spaniard has also contributed by making some crucial interceptions and clearances for Man City at the back. He is a terrific ball-distributor as well, which makes him an ideal option for Koeman to consider in January.

Why Barca Need To Get Garcia On Board

The Catalans have been leaky at the back this season after shipping in eight goals in seven league matches so far. It is not a bad record by any means, but with Gerard Pique edging closer towards the end of his playing career, it makes sense for Koeman to get Garcia on board as soon as possible. He has what it takes to serve as a capable successor to Pique at the Nou Camp. Garcia could potentially form a dominant defensive partnership with Clement Lenglet in the years to come, which explains why Barca are eager to get a deal over the line for him in January.

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