Eric Garcia was back at Barcelona on Sunday with Girona and able to play against his parent club as the Catalans didn’t add a ‘fear clause’ to his contract.
The defender, who endured plenty of criticism during his time at Barca, had a good night as Girona won 4-2 to return to the top of the table in La Liga.
Eric seemed to enjoy himself up again Joao Felix and Raphinha, who were both pretty ineffective, and the stats also show he was pretty effectrive.
The defender finished with an 85% pass success rate (completing 29 of 35 passes), won four of seven ground duels, all three aeriel contests and made four tackles.
Xavi was happy to talk about Eric after the game and admitted once again that he wished he hadn’t left Barcelona this summer.
“If it was up to me, Eric García would have not left us. He played a great match today,” he told reporters.
“He plays without pressure. It’s not the same to play for Girona than it is to play for Barcelona.”
Xavi is right about that, but Eric is now playing regularly at least, and Michel admits he’s loving having the Barcelona defender in his team.
“I don’t just love him for bringing the ball out... I think he’s a very good defensive player. For me he has all the conditions to be a top center back. It’s a blessing to have him,” he said.
Eric had long been dubbed ‘not good enough’ by many Barca supporters and moved on after knowing he’d be spending the season on the bench if he’d stayed.
He’s now taking full advantage of his loan move to Girona which seems to be working out well for both parties. You get the feeling it could even end up being made permanent in the summer - as long as Xavi agrees.