Manchester City defender John Stones picked up an injury in training ahead of their Champions League clash against Shakhtar Donetsk and is expected to miss at least four weeks, according to The Mirror.
The impending absence of the England international leaves Nicolas Otamendi as the only senior natural centre-back in Pep Guardiola’s squad, with Aymeric Laporte likely to be out for six months following a serious knee injury, as reported by The Guardian.
Even before news of Stones’ injury broke, the Daily Mail claimed that Guardiola had been planning to use Fernandinho at centre-back against Shakhtar Donetsk, a scenario that now looks even more likely with Stones ruled out.
Another option for the Manchester City manager is 18-year-old Eric Garcia, a centre-back from the under-23 squad who made three appearances for the senior side in the Carabao Cup last season and was on the bench for the Community Shield last month. [via TransferMarkt.co.uk]
These Manchester City fans on Twitter called for the 18-year-old Spaniard to be brought into the first team following Stones’ injury:
Anyways Eric Garcia Is One Of the World's best center back and all these City are short at the back yen yen will evaporate soon.
ERIC GARCIA REMEMBER THE NAME
— Samini (@_samini_) September 17, 2019
Knowing Pep he'd probably use Fernandinho with Otamendi/Walker at CB but THIS IS ERIC GARCIA'S TIME TO SHINEEEEE
— ℙ𝔽 (@FabPhilFoden) September 17, 2019
EASY ANSWER – ERIC GARCIA!!! #MCFC
— Dave Mcclusky (@dave_mac_mcfc) September 17, 2019
Eric Garcia is going to have a breakthrough season ladies and gentlemen. I actually cannot wait, Pep's never turned to the youth and now he's forced to do so. We'll soon see his managerial capabilities.
Oh and rivals, it's not over because our next 5 games are easy work.
— • (@CrossingTheBall) September 17, 2019
Eric Garcia has more talent than John Stones. He is not that tall but from what I have seen he is stronger than Stones. pic.twitter.com/kSyBR7fOzc
— Guardiolista (@City_Agenda) September 17, 2019
Otamendi and Ferna at CB huh? PLAY ERIC GARCIA!
— Bitter and Blue (@Bitter_and_Blue) September 17, 2019
Jokes aside I actually really want to see Eric Garcia play he’s been class whenever he’s played so far, same for Harwood-Bellis but still might be too early for him, never know might see him in the cup games
— Louis (@LouisMCFC_) September 17, 2019
Do you think Garcia should start at centre-back rather than Fernandinho? Should Guardiola have brought him into the first team squad earlier this season? Have your say by commenting below!Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!