Man City boss Pep Guardiola reportedly ‘warned’ Barcelona about a player before he joined the Catalan giants.
The reigning Premier League champions allowed a number of players to leave in the summer. Jack Harrison and Angelino were sold to Leeds and RB Leipzig respectively, while Lukas Nmecha was allowed to join Wolfsburg.
Arguably their biggest exit was Argentina striker Sergio Aguero. The prolific goalscorer, now 33, left to join Barcelona following the expiry of his contract.
He was not the only player to join Ronald Koeman’s side, however. Spanish centre-back Eric Garcia returned to the Blaugrana on a free transfer.
But the 20-year-old’s hopes of making a good impression have been shot down. Garcia has put in a string of sub-par performances which have disappointed Barcelona fans.
He was also sent off in the recent 3-0 Champions League defeat to Benfica, to make matters worse.
Catalan outlet El Nacional (via Sport Witness) now provide a report on the player’s struggles and the input from Guardiola.
They write that the two-time UCL winner was ‘sincere’ about Garcia’s qualities prior to his transfer.
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He supposedly ‘warned’ Barcelona that he might not succeed if put into the first team too quickly.
Guardiola pointed to the youngster’s lack of experience in big games, which might form an explanation for his poor run of matches.
But Koeman opted not to listen to his managerial counterpart. The Dutchman thought that Garcia could learn on the job alongside the reliable Gerard Pique.
That hasn’t happened, and Garcia’s future seems uncertain. He will likely be dropped for Clement Lenglet or Ronald Araujo in the next few weeks.
Dias reacts to Man City defeat
Portuguese centre-back Ruben Dias says City ‘will get better’ after their defeat to PSG in midweek.
Last season’s finalists were beaten in Group A as Idrissa Gueye and Lionel Messi got on the scoresheet.
They will have to respond quickly as title rivals Liverpool host them at Anfield on Sunday afternoon.
Dias told reporters: “If you want to be at the top, if you want to be number one, you need to play against some of the best.
“I would say that is the best you can have. It is always challenging and it is always good to be able to prove yourself to yourself. As a team it is always special to play these games.
“We are disappointed because we demand everything we can from ourselves.
“In the ultimate instant what matters is winning, but the team performed and we created chances. We will take the ‘goods’ and the ‘bads’ and we will get better.”