#5 Eric Garcia of Barcelona
Last but not the least, is former Manchester City man Eric Garcia. The La Masia graduate left for City aged 15. However, he has finally returned to the Nou Camp with proper experience and training under Josep Pep Guardiola.
The defender, also like Pique, spent a good amount of time in the Premier League during their youth years. Eric Garcia ended up winning the league with Manchester City multiple times. He’s a well-established center-back now, he is also young and could be the ideal replacement for Pique.
Just like Gerard, Eric Garcia is brilliant at passing. He’s very good on the ball. His long passes are a huge addition to his game. While improving as a player under Pep Guardiola, his qualities were just made better in training. He started for Manchester City on many occasions and he even made many important UEFA Champions League appearances for them ever since the 2019/20 season. He’s young and vibrant and he will be a massive addition for the Catalan giants.
Eric Garcia was offered a new deal at City but just like Guardiola stated, it was his intention to leave the club and head back to Spain. Hence, Barca landed the defender for a free transfer given that his contract was up. Given Barca’s current financial situation, the player also agreed to be paid half of what he was making in Manchester, which only shows how keen he is on returning home. However, it should not be a problem for Garcia given that he will probably be getting regular first-team football at the club which was impossible for him at City. The likes of John Stones, Ruben Dias, Aymeric Laporte, and Nathan Ake are all preferred over Eric at Manchester and a move to the Nou Camp will guarantee him regular minutes.
Given his physical attributes and given his style of play, he’s made for La Liga and not the Premier League. He struggled to be top-notch in the league given the physicality of the other players. He’s young, so these problems are just temporary. He’s only going to get better with time and proper coaching at Barcelona. He is currently the ideal replacement for Gerard Pique. The veteran is a great inspiration for Garcia, as Pique started as a young man at Barcelona and he made his way to the very top.
Which of these defenders do you want to see replace Gerard Pique?