Spanish teenager Eric Garcia has been named in the starting eleven for Manchester City’s Carabao Cup fifth round clash with Leicester at the King Power Stadium.
It is a first senior start for the 17-year-old defender who joined City from Barcelona in the summer of 2017 and came armed with a formidable reputation.
In his first season at the club, Garcia captained the U18s and impressed for the EDS, as well as the U19s in the Youth League.
He belied his tender years to adapt to a new club, country, language and home with impressive ease.
Garcia’s reward was a place on the City squad for this summer’s tour to the United States where the young Spaniard impressed against both Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool.
“Eric Garcia is 17 or 18 and played like he is 24 or 25,” manager Pep Guardiola said after the Dortmund game.
Not surprisingly for someone progressed through the ranks at Barcelona’s famed La Masia Academy, Garcia is comfortable in possession and has an eye for a pass – making him the ideal modern day defender.
In his two senior outings in the United States, Garcia caught the eye with a fine range of passing and his ability to switch play to the flanks.
During his 18 months in England, Garcia has also worked on his physicality as well as dealing with the more robust approach of some English opposition.
Since the start of the domestic season, Eric has been furthering his development with the Club’s EDS squad although injury disrupted his progress at one stage.
Always cool, calm and collected, he has so far passed every test with flying colours.
Now comes another important step on his learning curve.