Given Pique’s injury, Barcelona would be quite smart to go back in for this rising Man City starlet

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 21: Eric Garcia of Manchester City reacts during the UEFA Champions League Group C stage match between Manchester City and FC Porto at Etihad Stadium on October 21, 2020 in Manchester, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Martin Rickett - Pool/Getty Images)

Why Barcelona must sign Manchester City ace Eric Garcia in January

According to Daily Mail, Barcelona could be rushed into signing Eric Garcia in January itself. Gerard Pique suffered a knee injury in the game against Atletico and is set to return only in April.

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Born in Barcelona, Garcia spent nine years between 2008 and 2017 at La Masia. He then moved across the continent to join Manchester City. The highly-rated teenager featured thrice in the Citizens’ triumphant 2018-19 EFL Cup campaign. But he had to wait until the following season to make his Premier League debut.

The 19-year-old enjoyed an impressive breakthrough season in the top-flight last term, clocking up 791 minutes of league football across 8 starts and 5 substitute appearances (source – Transfermarkt). Besides that, he also started once in the Champions League and on five other occasions in the domestic cup competitions last season.

Eric Garcia
Eric Garcia of Manchester City during the Carabao Cup Round of 16 match between Manchester City and Southampton at Etihad Stadium on October 29, 2019 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

This season he has been given sparse games with just 4 appearances in all competitions. Garcia, already representing his nation at U-19 and U-21 levels, made his senior bow in September. He has made 4 appearances since then.

Signing Garcia is a compulsion now for Barcelona

Barcelona could not meet Manchester City’s demands of €10million up-front fee. The club had a restricted budget and could not afford to spend on Garcia, hence they opted to wait.

Nonetheless, the Catalans could be forced into signing him in January itself with Pique ruled out until April. The club are currently down to bare bones in central defence with just Clement Lenglet as the only fit centre-back. They have had to call on the likes of Ronald Araujo and Oscar Mingueza from the ‘B’ side to shore up the defence.

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

They could be forced to sell players like Junior Firpo and Martin Brathwaite in January to fund a move for Garcia. With games coming thick and fast, Barcelona will need more personnel in defence to tackle the issue.

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Garcia’s age means that he will be a very good long-term as well as short-term asset for the club. It’s not easy to break into a team under Guardiola as a youngster. That tells a lot about Garcia’s qualities. He would no doubt be a great addition to Barca’s backline for years to come.

Written by Sourav Ghosh

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