Why Arsenal signing Eric Garcia would be a smart move

According to The Sun, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is keeping tabs on the situation of Manchester City defender Eric Garcia, who is out of contract at the end of the season.

The Spanish international turned down a new deal put forth by the Cityzens as he has his heart set on a return to boyhood club Barcelona. However, with the Catalans in a difficult position financially, they might struggle to sign him in January and might wait until the summer to bag him on a free transfer. (h/t The Sun)

However, this could also open the doors for a potential free transfer for Arsenal to swoop, as Arteta is a huge admirer of Garcia. (h/t The Sun)

Profile

Garcia started out his footballing journey at Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy in 2008. The young defender spent nine years on the club’s books, before joining the Manchester City youth setup in 2017.

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

The 19-year-old impressed with the U-18s, earning his first-team debut in 2018. And while he has been in and around the senior team ever since, the Spaniard hasn’t exactly been a regular in the starting XI at the Etihad, although he did get an extended run of games last term and has featured quite a bit in 2020/21 as well.

So far, Garcia has featured 30 times in all competitions for Manchester City and has an assist to his name. The teenage centre-back represented the Spanish national team at every level between the U-16s and U-21s before making his senior debut earlier this year. So far, he has four international caps for La Roja.

Garcia would be a good addition at Arsenal

Arsenal strengthened their defence this summer with the signing of Gabriel Magalhaes, who has immediately established himself as a key member of Arteta’s setup.

Along with the Brazilian, Arsenal have plenty of options at the heart of the defence as Pablo Mari was also signed to join the likes of David Luiz, Rob Holding, Shkodran Mustafi, Calum Chambers, William Saliba and Sokratis.

Shkodran Mustafi has been linked with a shock move to Barcelona, who are desperate to sign defenders. (Julian Finney/GETTY Images)
Shkodran Mustafi is out of contract at the end of the season (Julian Finney/GETTY Images)

Among these though, Sokratis has been frozen out of the first-team picture and could be on his way out in January. Mustafi is in the final year of his contract with the club. Luiz, too, will see his deal expire at the end of the season and even if he signs an extension, the Brazilian will be 34 years old by the time the next season rolls in.

Furthermore, Chambers’ injury issues are no secret while Arteta, so far, has been reluctant to use Saliba, who is facing an uncertain future at the club. Given the situation, bringing in another centre-back in the summer would be the right move by the Gunners.

And Garcia, who has made a solid impression early in his career, can be a good signing for the club. The 19-year-old is a player Arteta knows well, having worked with him during his time as City’s assistant manager. Furthermore, with age on his side, the Spaniard can go on to become the ideal long-term partner for Gabriel at Arsenal.

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)

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Verdict

Arsenal have a number of centre-back options at their disposal already but that could change in the summer, with a couple of players set to be out of contract and a few others facing uncertain futures. That would warrant the signing of a new centre-back at the club.

And Garcia, who has done well in the Premier League in his limited opportunities, can be a bargain signing for Arteta on a free transfer.

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