“I would like to play for Barcelona. It is the club that I have followed since I was little and the one that I have always liked.”
Those were the words of Aleix García, one of Girona FC’s best and most important players. For two seasons, the midfielder has shown his class and it’s resulted in him finally getting a cap with the Spanish national team.
FC Barcelona did buy Oriol Romeu, one of Girona’s starting midfielders last season. But Romeu has found it hard to adapt to Barcelona, while Girona have only gotten better since his departure.
The blaugrana are still looking for a replacement for Sergio Busquets, someone who can do the job of the defensive midfielder in Xavi’s 4-3-3 system. It’s a tough role that requires impeccable passing, an amazing first touch, and the ability to defend.
García is a holding midfielder, although he has not really played in a 4-3-3 system like Xavi’s. In fact, Girona play with a double pivot these days, which is a very different role than the “Busquets role.”
Last season, García did play as a single pivot, albeit in a 4-1-4-1 system. It’s similar, sure, but not the same. The problems players have had adapting to the Barcelona system make it so they are cautious about signing a defensive midfielder who has not operated in the same way.
There are those who say García is better suited to be a central midfielder in the Barcelona system, and they probably have enough of those. Pedri, Frenkie de Jong, Gavi, and İlkay Gündoğan is already a lot for two spots (Gavi’s injury notwithstanding.) Of course, if De Jong or Gündoğan takes the pivot role, as they have done on occasion, that does open up another spot for another CM. But truthfully, Barcelona’s priority in the summer transfer market is someone who can play the DM spot above all else.
García has a lot of qualities. He’s a great passer, even at long distances. He switches play well and can ping diagonal balls like few else. He snuffs out danger by making interceptions. And he’s even a good shooter from distance when given the chance.
At Barcelona, he will be asked to play shorter more often, and more quickly. He may not get many chances to shoot at all. There is an element of risk there, but it’s not as if all of Barcelona’s transfer targets are single pivots in the 4-3-3. In fact, one of the top targets, Joshua Kimmich, plays a very similar role. Guido Rodríguez also plays in a double pivot, as another example.
But maybe it’s best to play him as a CM... in that case, does that rule him out? Or should Barcelona look into it regardless, because someone like Gündoğan could play as the holding midfielder instead?
So I pose the question to you in the comments section: should Barcelona go for Aleix García? Can he play as a DM in Barcelona’s system? Should they get him even if he only or mainly plays as a CM?