Manchester City were boosted by the return of Aymeric Laporte from injury earlier this month but the breakthrough of another player should also please Pep Guardiola.
He put in a confident display alongside Nicolas Otamendi against Fulham in the FA Cup on Sunday, achieving 96% pass accuracy and one tackle and one interception, which perhaps would have been greater if the visitors managed more than 30% possession.
Being adept both on and off the ball is key for any Manchester City defender, and if he can prove to his manager that he can have a commanding presence and show greater reliability than either Otamendi or John Stones then he has a chance of playing more often.
Start him against Utd & give a 5 year deal he's class
— CDY (@yatesy9320) January 26, 2020
Great game from Garcia today. Excellent vision, strong tackles, solid on the ball, great distribution
— Alpine Blue (@BurnellJonathan) January 26, 2020
Eric Garcia …. just the most gifted centre back I’ve seen so intelligent in his positioning and play . #mcfc
— Mike McClean (@mikemcclean5) January 26, 2020
Garcia again, what a tackle, phenomenal talent #MCFC
— Blue Tone – MCFC (@MCFCTone) January 26, 2020
Supporters have been impressed with the 19-year-old’s form this season, and the assuredness and composure he displayed against Fulham indicates that he has a bright future ahead of him.
Fans didn’t just praise his defensive attributes post-match, however, but his skill on the ball also, and if he can learn from Laporte it may not be long until he is a regular starter in the league.
Since Laporte has been unavailable the Citizens have lost five league games and conceded 27 goals in 24 league games, which highlights their vulnerability at the back and the possible need for a new defender, but Garcia could be the solution to that problem.
Some supporters have called for the Spaniard to start ahead of either Stones or Otamendi, arguing that he is the second-best centre-back at the club.
This boy should play regularly ahead of stones and Otamendi
— KIRAGU MUCHIRI (@KIRAGUMUCHIRI) January 26, 2020
@Laporte & Him always should start
— RM7 🇩🇿 (@MahrezzSZN) January 26, 2020
Aymeric Laporte is our best centre back. Easily. The second best is Eric Garcia. It’s criminal he doesn’t start every game.
— 🅱️en (@ThatchersElbow) January 26, 2020
Meanwhile, we have assessed one Man City transfer target by comparing him to a key player current at the club.