Marcelo Bielsa is expected to deploy three at the back for Leeds this season, and the boss should add to his ranks by swooping for Manchester City’s Eric Garcia.
Pep Guardiola spoke about sending youngsters out on loan last week, and it definitely sounds like the Spaniard would be open to shipping some out.
“We will decide on them at the end of pre-season,” said Guardiola.
“As soon as people come back we will know what we need for the games against Chelsea [in the Community Shield] and Arsenal.”
The Premier League champions will be welcoming back a whole host of World Cup superstars when that happens, so it seems unlikely that teenagers like Garcia will get a chance.
The 17 year-old was absolutely phenomenal in a pre-season clash with Liverpool on Wednesday night, showing he has all the tools to function in a back three.
[brid autoplay=”true” video=”257599″ player=”12034″ title=”Watch Leeds’ opening fixtures for the 201819 Championship season”]
If Pontus Jansson is the man to start in the heart of Bielsa’s defence, then he needs players who are fast, comfortable on the ball and excellent at reading the game on either side of him. Garcia has all these traits, making him a much better option for a back three than Kyle Bartley, who was heavily linked before his move to West Brom.
Garcia is only 17, but his composure and intelligence is incredible, which he proved on Wednesday night against a much more experienced Liverpool side. He did struggle a bit when Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane came on, but with all due respect he won’t face anything like that in the Championship.
Guardiola convinced the youngster to leave Barcelona and move to Manchester last season, and the next step for him is getting consistent game time in a competitive league. He scored four times in the U18 Premier League last season, and to be frank he looked like a man amongst boys.
At 5 ft 10 he is quite small for a centre back, but his pace and excellent game reading ability completely atones for this, and he showed this speed in the pre-season clash on Wednesday night by catching Liverpool’s Mane in a foot race.
If fans are worried about his age, they certainly shouldn’t be, as he has excellent leadership skills for such a young player. Garcia will almost certainly be shipped off on loan this summer, and the lure of Bielsa and using his pace in a back three could definitely tempt him to Elland Road.
So, Leeds fans, should you make a loan move for Garcia? Or do you need bigger and better players? Let us know your thoughts by voting in the poll below…