By 90Min
September 18, 2019

Manchester City have had some terrible luck with the injuries suffered by their central defenders this season, leaving them short of experience at the back. 

Key performer Aymeric Laporte is out for at least half the season with a knee injury whilst England's John Stones is sidelined for a month, leaving the inconsistent Nicolas Otamendi as the only senior defender available.

Due to the injuries, many City fans have named the player who should step in during the injury crisis - youngster Eric Garcia.

The 18-year-old defender is not as big a name as some of the other rising teenage superstars, but don't underestimate his ever-growing abilities. With Garcia seemingly on the verge of making his senior league debut, there is much more that we need to know about him.

Here's a bite-sized rundown of what you need to know about Garcia.


Pep Guardiola Is Already a Big Admirer

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Not exactly bad going when arguably the best manager in the world - Pep Guardiola - has something good to say about your playing abilities, and that's the case for the Spanish youngster.

As quoted by the official City website last year, Guardiola is a keen admirer of Garcia's talents, quipping: "Eric Garcia is 17 or 18 and played like he is 24 or 25."

The City boss has an eye for picking out youngsters with incredible potential, with Phil Foden the most famous example. The young Englishman has been getting regular first team experience over the last couple of seasons, and there's no reason why Garcia can't follow suit.


Backed to Be the Next Vincent Kompany

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There might not be an obvious comparison between the two players, but there is plenty of reason to believe Garcia could be Vincent Kompany's successor.

Standing at 6'0, the composed Spanish youngster consistently shows maturity on the ball and tactical intelligence for the academy team, attributes the City legend was so famous for.

He also captains City's academy squad, highlighting his leadership qualities that are comparable to the ones the Belgian produced during his 11-year spell at the club.


Carles Puyol Was Blamed When He Left La Masia 

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In 2017, Barcelona were left furious with club legend Carles Puyol, who represented Garcia as his agent when the youngster left the club.

At the time, the Spanish defender was 16 and considered amongst the leading youth prospects at the famous Masia academy.

It wasn't the first time La Masia's best youth prospects were pinched away from them on the cheap, either. Cesc Fabregas left the Catalan club in 2003 for Arsenal, only bring him back for €35m eight years later. Hector Bellerin also took the same path. 


He Knows How to Win European Competitions

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With City having won all of the domestic competitions over the last 12 months, the goal now is to win on the elite European stage. However, they still need to add players who have experienced glory in Europe at either club or international level.

Luckily for them, they don't need to splash another £50m to find that, as Garcia already has that in his trophy cabinet.

During the summer, the defender has tasted European glory whilst on duty with Spain's Under-19 squad, winning the European Championship.

Garcia was a key figure in their successful campaign and was personally rewarded with a place in the team of the tournament. With such experience at a young age, it could prove key in the years to come for City in Europe. 


He Is Already Settled and Speaks Fluent English

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In modern day football, a player's ability to settle and communicate efficiently on the pitch can be central to how that one player settles.

Garcia constantly shows on social media his happiness at the club and his bond with fellow City youngsters, and not to mention that he already speaks fluent English. 

To be able to settle in a new country at such a young age is difficult and could be the building blocks to a long successful career in Manchester.

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