Guardiola reflects on Man City's defeat at PSG
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Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola could do nothing to prevent Eric Garcia departing the club to join Barcelona this summer after the centre-back ran his Etihad Stadium contract down and he will have the last laugh over the transfer. Garcia had come through the ranks in Catalonia and had yearned for a return to the Spanish giants.
Despite only making 12 first-team appearances during his time in Manchester, Garcia’s exit was a disappointing one for City.
The 20-year-old had looked assured when called upon and the youngster appears to have a big future in the game.
City could actually have commanded £18million in exchange for Garcia if they were willing to let him leave last October.
But they rebuffed Barca’s advances before the player eventually walked away for nothing.
Guardiola still has a plethora of centre-backs at his disposal, with Ruben Dias continuing to impress at the heart of the Citizens defence.
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John Stones had a stellar campaign last time out, while Aymeric Laporte appears to be back to his best after being given a run of games at the start of this season.
And Nathan Ake is a more-than-capable replacement if he is required to fill in.
City have started the season well and, since their 1-0 defeat to Tottenham on the opening day of the campaign, Guardiola’s side haven’t conceded a Premier League goal.
They’ve looked far shakier in the Champions League, but Guardiola will still be confident of qualifying for the knockout stages.
And it appears the City boss will have the last laugh in the Garcia chronicle due to the defender’s start to life at Barcelona.
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Garcia was sent off on in the dying minutes of Barca’s 3-0 Champions League defeat to Benfica on Wednesday night.
It’s the second time he’s been dismissed since returning to Spain – and he’s only played six games.
During those six games, Barcelona have conceded eight goals and have kept just one clean sheet.
To compound Garcia’s misery, Ronald Koeman’s side have suffered back-to-back Champions League defeats and sit bottom of the Group E table.
They have also won only three of their opening six La Liga games and are five points behind leaders Real Madrid.
“After four incredible years in which I’ve had the opportunity to develop both as a player and as a person, it’s time to move on,” Garcia said as he departed City.
“I would like to thank those at the academy who placed their trust in me. Thank you to all the managers and all their staff for helping me to improve and for preparing me for the next step up the ladder in my career.
“I would like to say a big thank you to all the fans who have encouraged and supported me throughout the years here.
“Although I have decided to return home, I shall always remain a fan of this great club.”
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