Barcelona boss Xavi reveals he played Eric Garcia in midfield after Jordi Cruyff urged him to try the defender in the holding role last year… and says staff have been ‘testing him’ in training after he starred in the team’s 4-0 win over Elche
- Barcelona manager Xavi has credited Jordi Cruyff for Eric Garcia’s midfield role
- Xavi revealed how his sporting director urged him to try Garcia in midfield
- Garcia starred in a midfield pivot in Barcelona’s dominant win over Elche
Xavi has credited Barcelona’s sporting director Jordi Cruyff with the idea to use Eric Garcia in midfield after the former Manchester City defender starred in Saturday’s 4-0 win over Elche.
Barcelona starred in a midfield trio alongside Sergi Roberto and Gavi as the LaLiga leaders established a 15-point lead at the top of the league table.
Garcia re-joined Barcelona on a free transfer in 2021 after previously leaving the club he spent his youth years at.
His future at the Nou Camp has been uncertain amid interest from Premier League leaders Arsenal, but recent success deploying him in midfield has received glowing reviews from Xavi.
‘Eric’s was an idea of Jordi Cruyff, who told me last year that he saw him in midfield,’ said Xavi after his side’s recent win.
Eric Garcia has received huge praise from his Barcelona boss after recent impressive showings in midfield
Xavi (left) credited Barcelona sporting director Jordi Cruyff (right) with the idea to deploy Garcia in midfield
‘We talked about it with the staff and we have been testing it for two months.
‘We played the other day with the subsidiary, and we could have a great pivot. He has made a great game,’ he added.
Barcelona are trying to ascertain replacements for veteran midfielder Sergio Busquets who is expected to leave Spain at the end of the season once his contract reaches its end.
Garcia (pictured) has fallen down the defensive pecking order at Barcelona but could favour a new midfield role
Garcia may not have been the most obvious replacement choice but an impressive outing at the base of a three-man midfield pivot has given Xavi a new option.
The 22-year-old may have to rely on securing his future as a midfielder after largely falling behind in the defensive pecking order with Ronald Araujo, Andreas Christensen, Jules Kounde and Marcos Alonso all ahead of him as centre-back options.
Meanwhile, fellow midfielder Gavi could leave the club in the summer as Barcelona face the prospect of having to cash in on top talent amid serious financial troubles.
The 18-year-old has lost his No 6 shirt and first-team status after LaLiga blocked his new senior deal.
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