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Man City would lose a gem of a talent if they give in to Barcelona’s interest in 19-year-old starlet

Eric Garcia
Eric Garcia is out of contract at the end of the season (Getty Images)

Why Manchester City should keep hold of Eric Garcia

According to Sport (h/t Daily Express), Barcelona are interested in re-signing former academy graduate Eric Garcia, who now plays for Manchester City.

The report also claims that the La Liga giants have put forward a potential three-man swap deal in order to lure Garcia, who has impressed for City this season.

The swap deal would involve Barcelona offering right-back Nelson Semedo in exchange for City’s Garcia and out-of-favour left-back Joao Cancelo. However, the deal includes only the exchange of players, with no money involved.

Eric Garcia of Manchester City and Diogo Jota of Wolverhampton Wanderers vie for the ball during the Premier League match between both sides last December.
Eric Garcia of Manchester City and Diogo Jota of Wolverhampton Wanderers vie for the ball during the Premier League match between both sides last December. (Getty Images)

Meanwhile, 19-year-old Garcia joined City’s youth setup back in 2017 following the arrival of Pep Guardiola. The teenage centre-back has undergone his development in such a short period of time and has now become one of Guardiola’s first-choice defenders in the side since the restart of football.

Though he has made just 8 Premier League starts this season, six of them have come after the lockdown was lifted. Garcia has featured in 13 league games altogether and has kept an impressive 8 clean sheets in the process, forcing Guardiola to deploy him ahead of veteran Nicolas Otamendi and experienced campaigner John Stones.

With the young teenager quickly establishing himself as one of the first names in the City team sheet in recent times, it is not a big surprise Barcelona have now shown an interest in their former player.

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola giving instructions to Eric Garcia during a match.
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola giving instructions to Eric Garcia during a match. (Getty Images)

Garcia has given Manchester City stability at the back

Barcelona, on the other hand, are in clear need of defensive reinforcements following their title loss to rivals Real Madrid this season. The Catalan side conceded 38 goals compared to Madrid’s mere 25, showing that they really need to reshuffle their defence if they wish to get back to the top at least next season.

Except for Clement Lenglet, Barcelona’s current centre-backs – Gerard Pique and Samuel Umtiti have been far from impressive this season. Pique turned 33 last February and looks like a mere shadow of the defender that he once used to be.

Umtiti, meanwhile, is still struggling with injuries and continues to spend most of his time on the sidelines. That said, Barcelona’s decision to make a move for the in-form Garcia makes complete sense.

Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti is still struggling with injuries.
Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti is still struggling with injuries. (Getty Images)

However, City must ward off from any such interest for their young centre-back as he alongside Aymeric Laporte finally seem to be stable at the back.

The inconsistency of experienced defenders Otamendi and Stones had hurt City earlier this season, with manager Guardiola having to deploy versatile midfielder Fernandinho for a major part of their campaign.

Also, Otamendi is already 32 now and is clearly showing signs of ageing. Considering all this, it would be wise of City to hold onto Garcia as he has proved his potential by establishing himself at the back in recent games.

Manchester city defender Nicolas Otamendi has started to show signs of ageing.
Manchester City defender Nicolas Otamendi has started to show signs of ageing. (Getty Images)

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Verdict

One of the main reasons for City’s fall in rankings this season has been their weak defence. However, since the restart, they have looked solid at the back – thanks to the arrival of young Garcia. With the young defender being in good form at the moment, losing him could hurt them in the future.

Written by Siddharth

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