Manchester City supporters in the Transfer Tavern are eagerly anticipating the 2018/19 Premier League season, what with their side seeking to maintain their domination of English football’s top tier.
Pep Guardiola’s men won the title at a canter last time round in accumulating 100 points from their 38 league matches, eventually ending up a sensational 19 points clear of nearest rivals Manchester United. As such, the Citizens will certainly be favourites to win the league this term as well, although the likes of United, Liverpool, Tottenham, and Chelsea will surely have something to say about that when the new season gets underway next month.
Thus, there are many excited and optimistic City fans up and down the country, several of whom are wondering who the next youngster could be to break out from the club’s youth ranks, whether that be this year or indeed in the seasons to come.
And based on his efforts for the club’s Under-18 team last term, 17-year-old sensation Eric Garcia could well be the next to break through into Guardiola’s first team, and doing so could well give the Spaniard his ideal long-term replacement for Vincent Kompany.
32-year-old Kompany has been a stalwart of the City side ever since his move to the club back in 2008, with the club captain going on to appear 334 times for the North West heavyweights, helping them to three Premier League titles, as well as a whole host of other domestic honours.
Yet at the age of 32, and having suffered with recurrent injury problems over the years, Guardiola may well be thinking for life after the Belgium international, but he doesn’t have to look too far for his perfect replacement for the centre back.
And that’s because 17-year-old Garcia could well be his man, having made the move from Barcelona back in the summer of 2017, and having gone on to become an integral member of the Under-18 squad at the Etihad Stadium.
The defender, who also played in both full back positions to good effect last season, appeared 19 times in the North division of the Under-18 Premier League last term to help the Citizens to a second place finish in the table, while his four goals for the side further underlined his ability to influence matters in both boxes, a la Kompany.
In fact, Garcia was named the Players’ Player of the Season to further emphasise his significance to the team, but with two Premier League 2 appearances for the development squad already under his belt, the Under-18s may have to do without the rising star this time round.
Nonetheless, it appears that the 17-year-old has everything to come in and be the long-term replacement for Kompany in the years to come, with the Spaniard having shown his leadership qualities by captaining the Under-18s on seven occasions last season, as well as coming up with key contributions in both boxes to help his side.
As such, with Kompany’s career perhaps entering the twilight years, Guardiola could be eyeing a replacement, yet he doesn’t have to look too much further than 17-year-old City sensation Garcia.
Man City fans… what do you think? Let us know!