It’s rather surprising that Barcelona sanctioned the sale of Eric Garcia to Manchester City back in 2017. That stems from the fact that the youngster was highly regarded at the club while being groomed at La Masia. Man City saw potential in the young player and brought him to the Etihad Stadium to grow under the tutelage of none other than manager Pep Guardiola.
The Catalan boss has since taken a keen interest in the player extolling his virtues at every opportunity. The Blues boss has compared his countryman to Sergio Busquets and predicted a bright future in the game for him if he works hard to fulfill his potential. Garcia, in turn, has not disappointed, stepping up to the senior team in style.
Although playing minutes have not been easy to come by, the 19-year-old has not failed to distinguish himself whenever given the opportunity. He displays maturity beyond his age while on the pitch and has proved he is ready for the big time. That has caught the attention of his former club who are now reported to be interested in bringing him back to Camp Nou.
As reported by ESPN, Barcelona have made an approach for the young defender only to be knocked back by Man City. But, Garcia has not committed to fresh terms with despite his current deal running out in 2022. That may have encouraged the Catalan side to make the approach. The Spanish giants also want to take advantage of the fact that the player could be enticed by the idea to return to his homeland. A reunion with family and friends is usually valued by young players.
Still, Man City was never going to let a player with such promise leave after the experience with others like Jadon Sancho and Brahim Diaz. At the rate he is going, the teenager will soon become a regular for City. Fortunately for him, there is space in the centre-back position as Nicolas Otamendi will soon be on his way out while John Stones has been inconsistent. The Englishman has so far failed to rediscover the form that saw City shell out megabucks to price him away from Everton. He has been prone to injury while his game has been riddled with mistakes when he is fit.
Garcia could easily step up to become a regular partner for Aymeric Laporte. The Spanish youth international displays composure and a calm head when on duty. With intelligent tackling, good positioning and an eye for a pass, he possesses the requisite qualities for a top defender.
These are qualities Guardiola values and must have influenced his decision to integrate him into the team.
However, City will need to tie him down to a long-term contract to ward off interest from top European sides.