Name: Eric Garcia
Club: Manchester City
Date of Birth: 9 January 2001
Position: Centre-back/ Full-back
Eric Garcia – his career so far
Even though he still hasn’t completely fought his way into Pep Guardiola’s plans at Manchester City, Eric Garcia is certainly already staking his claim at the Etihad and is quite a well-known quantity in the footballing world.
But still, he is not a product of the Manchester City academy since the now 19-year-old has been training in Barcelona’s famed La Masia during the first steps of his footballing career. From the Catalans’ youth ranks, the young defender managed to reach the U17 squad but with no clear path of progression and limited chances to develop, he decided to leave for the Etihad in the summer of 2017.
Since then, he has been a prominent part of Manchester City’s development squads and has even managed to impress Guardiola enough to warrant some first-team appearances despite his young age.
In his first season at the club, Garcia already captained the U18s while also impressing during his stints with the U19s in the Youth League as well. In total, he could muster 25 appearances for the former, even bagging five goals in the process, and nine games for the latter team.
He would also feature for Man City’s U23 squad, tallying 16 appearances with one goal and one assist under his name along the way. But the first-team squad wasn’t that far away either.
Garcia made his first senior start for the Citizens in the Carabao Cup penalty shoot-out win over Leicester in December 2018 and also accompanied the first-team squad in their US summer tour when they faced Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool on American soil.
Since then, he can boast with a total of 14 senior appearances and even one assist under his belt in the process as well. His Premier League bow arrived in 2019/20 during City’s 8-0 thrashing of Watford in September 2019.
Even though his game time is still limited, Garcia seems like a safe bet for the future of the Citizens.
With Man City’s issues in the backline and Garcia’s sheer talent and potential, it’s pretty safe to say that he’s not going anywhere any time soon. No Manchester City news or transfer rumours are suggesting otherwise and the 19-year-old defender is slowly but surely becoming a regular with the seniors.
It is, for that reason, to be expected that he continues developing at the Etihad and not anywhere else in the near future. Of course, with the summer transfer window edging ever closer, it is possible that we see transfer rumours of all kind surrounding the youngster but at the very moment, his future at City seems quite safe.
Either way, next season could be huge for the Spaniard and his time is yet to fully arrive. We’ll have to wait and see what Pep decides to do with his gem.
Since we are talking about a product of Barcelona’s La Masia, it doesn’t come as a surprise that Garcia is a technically superb defender who is comfortable on the ball and very capable of advancing the play and building up from the back.
And with Man City preferring that style of play themselves, the two teams are indeed almost a perfect match. The 19-year-old defender is confident in his approach, secure in possession and already exhibits some early leadership skills.
But ever since he arrived in England, Garcia has also worked on his physicality, which means that he is strong in the tackle and can tussle with the attackers and shrug them off the ball when necessary.
As things currently stand, the youngster has all the makings of a brilliant modern defender of the future.
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