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Arsenal Preparing Summer Offer for Barcelona Centre-back, Mikel Arteta Very Keen to Reunite With Former City Defender

Eric Garcia, Arsenal

According to reports in Spain, Arsenal are preparing an offer for Barcelona defender Eric Garcia in the summer. The North London side are already putting plans in place for the upcoming summer window, with manager Mikel Arteta keen to sign a right-sided centre-back.

William Saliba is the first-choice centre-back in the squad at the moment, but the club lack proper backup in that position. The Gunners bought Jakub Kiwior from Spezia in January as a cover for Gabriel Magalhaes, but they need a right-sided option for the Frenchman.

Eric Garcia worked under Mikel Arteta during his time at Man City. However, the Spanish defender failed to nail down a place in the first-team at the Etihad because of the immense competition within the squad. Arteta left City in 2019 whereas the defender stayed for two more years before signing for Barcelona on a free transfer in 2021.

Eric Garcia
Image Obtained Via Sky Sports

The Gunners want cover for the right centre-back position and Mikel Arteta has identified the Barcelona starlet as the man to sort the issue. As reported by Mundo Deportivo (via Metro), Arsenal are planning a summer swoop for Eric Garcia.

The Spanish manager is very keen to reunite with the 22-year-old, according to the Spanish outlet. The North Londoners even enquired about the availability of the centre-back in the January window, but he was not willing to leave Camp Nou and wanted to help the Catalans win the La Liga this season.

The former City defender has made 61 appearances for the Blaugrana across all competitions since joining them in 2021 (stats via Transfermarkt). Although Garcia has had some good performances for Barcelona and also for the Spanish international team, he has made some costly errors which have made the fans question his reliability.

Moreover, the Spain international has fallen down the pecking order after the signings of Andreas Christensen and Jules Kounde, having only started 11 league games this season. His lack of game-time could prompt the Spaniard to leave Camp Nou this summer.

Mikel Arteta has used Ben White as a right-back for most of the season which is now an emerging tactic for the Gunners boss. The Gunners have very few quality centre-back options and they need more additions to compete in more than one competition next season. Eric Garcia could be a great backup option for Arsenal

Both Barcelona and Manchester City saw potential in Garcia’s game-play. Since he graduated from La Masia, which added to his reputation, he has very good passing abilities for a defender. Even Luis Enrique deployed the 22-year-old at the heart of defence in the Spanish national team to make use of his passing ability to build from the back.

Should Arsenal Make A Move To Reunite Mikel Arteta And Eric Garcia?

Modern football does demand ball-playing ability from the centre-back and many times it demands the same from even the goalkeepers. Eric Garcia is an excellent option to have as a ball-playing central defender. He is capable of finding the passes into the legs of the attacker who drops in the midfield to create a midfield overload.

Eric Garcia
Image Obtained Via The Mirror

The 22-year-old also does a splendid job of finding spaces on either flank. He has very similar attributes to that of Lisandro Martinez of Manchester United. However, Martinez’s aggression gives him the edge over the Spanish centre-half. Garcia tends to be conservative and has more probability of a slip-up or losing an aerial duel.

Mikel Arteta has solidified the North London side this season and they are marching toward the Premier League title. This could be their first league title after almost two decades and also a confirmed return to the Champions League in the next campaign.

With more games and cups to compete for, the Gunners now have to build a squad competent enough to win every match and fight for every competition. The Spanish manager certainly needs some recruitment to achieve that.

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However, Eric Garcia does not look like the best candidate in that direction for Arsenal. The Spaniard doesn’t look like he will strengthen the defensive department. His unreliability could cost Arteta in decisive matches just as he has cost Barcelona.

The Gunners boss can look elsewhere for a reliable option in defence or may even promote some players from the academy to cut his costs. That will be of great help as Arteta will need funds to complete signings in other departments too.

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