Girona still confident about retaining Barcelona loanee – report

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Girona's Spanish coach Michel talks to Girona's Spanish defender #25 Eric Garcia during the Spanish league football match between Girona FC and FC Barcelona at the Montilivi stadium in Girona on May 4, 2024.
Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images

Irrespective of who the manager will be next season, FC Barcelona are set to face an overload of center-backs this summer. Currently, the squad already includes five natural center-backs: Ronald Araujo, Jules Kounde, Andreas Christensen, Inigo Martinez, and Pau Cubarsi.

Once the current season ends, two more center-backs, Clement Lenglet and Eric Garcia, will be returning from their loans. The case of the latter of these defenders is quite compelling, as he has played at a very high level during his loan at Girona, but has already announced that he will be returning to his parent club this summer as his one-year loan contract comes to an end.

Xavi has also indicated that he will be counting on the former Manchester City defender for the next season, but it is currently not clear whether the FC Barcelona head coach himself will remain in charge of the team for the next season.

In such a situation, Diario AS reports that Girona also have not yet given up on the hope of retaining the defender in their ranks. Garcia himself would be open to remaining at Girona, but for now, his future lies in the hands of both these clubs.

In fact, the La Masia graduate has been very happy playing under Michel this season, as the Girona coach has shown confidence in him, and also further polished his strengths, helping him to become a top defender once again.

This is clear from the numbers that the defender has accumulated over the last year. He has been the seventh most used player in the Girona squad, despite being only on loan, and has the joint-highest number of goals scored by a defender, 4, along with Real Madrid’s Dani Carvajal.

Garcia has also recorded better numbers than most of the defenders playing for Barcelona, and only Kounde and Gundogan have a better successful passing rate than him, and only Joao Cancelo has more ball recoveries.

Girona fans are frequently heard chanting “Eric, stay” during home games, and it is easy to understand why they are so keen to see the defender staying at the club beyond this season. However, the decision is in the hands of both these Catalan clubs, and it remains to be seen where he will play next season.

Ahmad Sarmad Ansari
Ahmad Sarmad Ansari
Ahmad Sarmad Ansari has been covering Spanish football as a writer for Barca News Network for the last one and a half year and as an amateur football fanatic for more than 10 years. He mainly covers on and off-field happenings taking place at Barcelona including transfer news, administrative changes, match reports, and any other eventful news coming out of the club.

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