Why Barcelona must re-sign teenage defender Eric Garcia
According to ESPN, Barcelona have made an inquiry about re-signing Spanish centre-back Eric Garcia from Manchester City.
A product of Barcelona’s famous La Masia academy, Garcia opted to switch to England in 2017, where he has a deal until 2021. Aged just 19, Garcia has already made 11 appearances for City’s senior side this season, giving a clear indication of the talent that he is.
A regular within the City reserves, Garcia’s swift rise in the ranks has seen him earn six league appearances this term under manager Pep Guardiola.
The teenage centre-back was also included in City’s Champions League game against Dinamo Zagreb last December, speaking volumes about his potential. However, with the likes of senior players John Stones, Nicolas Otamendi, and Aymeric Laporte still in the side, Garcia has found it a little difficult to establish himself as a regular.
Despite all that, he has still managed to break through into the side and is one of City’s young players who is in the good books of Guardiola, according to the report. Out of his 11 games for City this season, Garcia has managed five clean sheets and provided one assist, proving his worth as one of the side’s upcoming talents.
Garcia a future replacement for Barcelona veteran Pique
The Catalans, meanwhile, are on the lookout for new defensive reinforcements, with their main man and centre-back Gerrard Pique turning 33 last February. Barcelona are in dire need of a young face to replace their star defender, who has started to show clear signs of ageing.
Apart from Pique, the La Liga champions just have Frenchmen Samuel Umtiti and Clement Lenglet in the side. Though Lenglet has established himself as a reliable centre-back within the side since his arrival in 2018, it is not the same with Umtiti.
The 26-year-old Umtiti has spent a major part of his time at the Camp Nou on the sidelines due to various injuries. His injury woes in the past and present remain a major concern for Barcelona, who are looking for a new and regular face at the backline.
A former academy graduate, Garcia, fits the bill perfectly as he is well equipped to the club’s philosophy and is not someone new to Camp Nou. Hence, the Catalans must up their interest in Garcia and land the teenager as he could be an answer to their defensive woes.
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Barcelona, at the moment, just have three centre-backs in their side. Roping in Garcia will only make them stronger. It will also offer manager Quique Setien plenty of options at the back, given the side’s defensive woes at present. Moreover, he is still in his teens and can develop with time. This he could be an excellent signing for the future by the Spanish side.