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Why is Eric García doing so well at Girona?

Barcelona didn’t want him last summer

Girona FC v Deportivo Alaves - LaLiga EA Sports Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Eric García is doing bits with league-leading Girona FC. He’s a key starter for the Catalan outfit, surprisingly on top of La Liga. And to think FC Barcelona did their best to loan him out last summer.

It’s worth asking why García went from a reserve defender who was mocked at times for being shaky and unreliable, to a key cog in a team coming out of nowhere to lead La Liga.

He’s found the ideal place for him, both in terms of his role in the team and the type of system they play. And drawing the majority of the plaudits is the manager, Michel, who has squeezed every bit of power out of his relatively cheaply assembled squad.

García’s passing and vision has always been his strong suit, but Michel praised his anticipation, speed, and intuition. He’s a “blessing” and a “top centerback” according to his new manager.

That situation has drawn unflattering comparisons to Xavi’s handling of Barcelona. He led them to La Liga’s crown last season, but this season, his team have struggled to keep pace. The fact that a Girona player (Oriol Romeu) was transferred to Barcelona and proceeded to drop a level also doesn’t paint a flattering picture for Xavi’s management.

But is it really about the manager? Or is it just that he’s had a change of scenery and a renewed sense of confidence? Not to mention, he’s only 22. It’s natural that he will keep improving for a few years.

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