Manchester City defender Eric Garcia is the subject of transfer speculation from the club where his football career began.
ESPN reported that Barcelona have made enquiries about bringing the La Masia graduate back to Catalonia, although Etihad Stadium executives have rebuffed the La Liga club’s interest and insisted that the 19-year-old is not for sale.
ESPN added that, while Pep Guardiola is very fond of the youngster and wants to involve him more in the first team squad, there is a feeling at Manchester City that the uncertainty over his long-term future at the Etihad could become problematic.
Garcia, who came to Manchester City from Barcelona three years ago, has been restricted to 14 first team appearances in that time, 11 of which have come this season. The teenager has made six Premier League appearances but only two of those have been as a starter, with his experience of the division limited to 268 minutes. [via TransferMarkt]
There have been signs that the Spaniard could succeed at that level, judging by some of the performances he gave during a spell in the first team at the turn of the year. He made six clearances in just 45 minutes in City’s 3-2 defeat at Wolves over the festive period and, as a starter in a subsequent home win over Everton, he recorded four interceptions.
The 19-year-old has earned plenty of praise from the Cityzens faithful for his performances so far and perhaps he has deserved better than to be left kicking his heels while veteran midfielder Fernandinho has been asked to deputise at centre-back this season.
Aside from Garcia, Manchester City have just three senior centre-backs – Aymeric Laporte (injured for most of this season), Nicolas Otamendi (32 and castigated by various pundits in recent months) and John Stones (a transfer target for Newcastle who has been scorned by many City supporters).
Taking all that into account, there should definitely be opportunities for the Spanish teenager to obtain more regular game-time under Guardiola and it would be hard to blame the youngster if he felt that he’d have a better chance of playing regularly elsewhere.
Do you think Eric Garcia will feature regularly for Man City over the next few months?
From what he has shown so far, he certainly seems good enough to at least merit a proper run in the first team, especially when Manchester City aren’t blessed with centre-back options.
Man City fans, would it be a mistake by the club to sell Garcia? Share your views in the comments section below!
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