Saiguhan Elancheran writes a detailed scout report about Aleix Garcia, the Manchester City and Spain midfilder.
‘We are building a structure for the future, not just a team of all-stars.’ – Sheikh Mansour, September 2008
When the Arab owners took in-charge of Man City in 2008, they promised that they would give more importance to the improvement of the club in terms of youth development in the long run for future progress along with success in domestic and international competitions. They invested hefty money, signed a plethora of world class players in what they called Man City as a long-term project. As a result of this, in the year 2014, the powers at City came up with 200m youth academy and have started to recruit talents whom they see as future prospects.
And since then, players from the academy have been in and around City squad and have represented the club in the domestic cup competitions. And the recruitment of Pep Guardiola has certainly increased the expectations to see players through youth academy as he has the reputation of showing courage towards developing young talents to world class stars. Kelechi Iheanacho has been the break through player from the academy who is seen as the answer for the fans’ question about youth players. There are certain players who have shown potential in the likes of Tosin Adarabioyo, Manu Garcia, Bersant Celina etc in the past. And Aleix Garcia is one who has been involved more in the City squad recently under Pep Guardiola.
Who is Aleix Garcia?
Born in Ulldecona, Tarragona, Catalonia, Aleix García Serrano (born 28 June 1997) is a Spanish footballer who plays for Manchester City as a central midfielder. When he was 8, García joined Villarreal CF‘s youth setup in 2005, after starting out at CF Ulldecona. He made his senior debut with the reserves in Segunda División B on 26 April 2014 at only 16 years of age, coming on as a late substitute in a 1–0 away win against CF Badalona. García featured for the C team in the 2014–15 season, also appearing for the B side in the same campaign. He made his first team – and La Liga – debut on 23 May 2015, replacing Antonio Rukavina in a 4–0 loss at Athletic Bilbao.
On 27 August 2015, García joined Premier League side Manchester City. “I think it’s all about challenges and this is the biggest challenge possible and that’s why I decided to come here. I’m really happy to be here”, said the little Spaniard. He was selected by then-City manager Manuel Pellegrini against Chelsea on 21 February 2016 in the fifth round of the FA Cup in which City lost the game 1-5.
And on 17th September, the 19 year-old made his premier league debut under Pep Guardiola. He came on as a substitute to replace Kevin de Bruyne at the 75th minute against Bournemouth. On 21 September, he started in an EFL Cup match against Swansea City, scoring his first goal for the club in the 2–1 away win. He next started a month later on 26 October, in another EFL Cup match, a 1–0 loss to Manchester United.
Aleix García is the 2nd player born in Ulldecona (a small town composed of a little more than 6,000 people, that lies just South of Catalonia), to play in the Premier League after Oriol Romeu did so with Chelsea in 2011.
What is his style of play?
He describes himself as a passing player.
“It’s really difficult for me to speak about me but I know that people praise the way I pass the ball. My style of play suits the passing game and also the way I shape myself with the rest of my team-mates,” he said.
One of the best attributes of his is his astute passing and ability to find players in the final third through penetrating balls. Predominantly a central midfielder, the Spaniard has a variety of tricks up his sleeve. He is someone like Andrea Pirlo who can also dictate the game when deployed as a deep lying playmaker.
He is also very versatile as he can play at various positions. He can play as a winger and he starred in the attacking midfield role in the game against Swansea in which he scored the winner. He started in the game against Manchester United in the EFL Cup and played as a central midfielder along with Fernando.
What are his strengths?
Excellent reading of the game and intelligence are the attributes which epitomize his style of play. He was always eager to score a goal against Swansea, continuously finding pockets of space to receive the ball and arriving in dangerous positions in the final third. Being an expert at short passes, he can also play brilliant 60-yard long balls and score screamers from the edge of the box.
Along with Fernando he was rock solid in the centre and always tracked back when the team needed him. Though he is an attacking minded midfielder, he shone in defensive duties. Also, Garcia isn’t someone from whom the ball can easily be robbed off, his swift turns and ability to find his teammates makes it difficult for the opposition to block or intercept him.
One more thing to note is his link up play between the defense and attack. Like every other deep lying playmaker, he collects the ball from the defensive line and supplies it to the attack. In the game against Swansea he often tracked back to collect the ball from the defence and played it forward. But what he needs is an out and out DM in support so that he can go forward on offensive duties relying on the fact that the other no.4 will take care of the proceedings in front of the defence.
The above video portrays his knack for scoring goals even from long distances. His powerful right foot gives him the opportunity to try and bang in the goals from long distances. 10 months ago, he scored this goal of the season contender in 68th minute, after receiving the ball around 25 yards from goal and hammering it into the top corner on the half volley to cap off an all-round impressive display in the 3-2 victory over Reading.
What are his weaknesses?
His weaknesses are the things that are seen in common for his age. He is physically not that strong and really has to improve on his physique should he become a great central midfielder. He is 173 cm in height and 61 kg in weight. His weight is very less comparing a player who plays in his position. Maybe he should strengthen his body a bit, if he has to win those brutal 1v1 battles in the middle of the field. He does not show great pace and agility which makes him quite vulnerable when he dribbles with the ball.
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