Eric Garcia left Barcelona in 2017 to join EPL giants Manchester City and has developed into a fine defender under the tutelage of former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola.
Garcia has been in decent form for Manchester City and has filled in for many of the club's first-choice defenders this season.
Barcelona's defensive crisis this season has prompted a response from the board as the club tries to shore its defence ahead of a congested and hectic year. The Catalans have not had the best of seasons and their porous defence has been largely to blame.
Eric Garcia has experienced highs and lows as well this season. While the young defender continues to blossom under Pep Guardiola, playing time has been hard to come by in the EPL owing to Manchester City's considerable squad depth.
The 19-year-old defender has done exceedingly well when he has been fielded by the former Barcelona manager and will be looking forward to regular playing time for the rest of the season, as EPL restart comes closer.
The young talent left Barcelona in 2017 for a measly fee of £1.3m and his departure prompted strong reactions from several Blaugrana legends. Xavi Hernandez, who is tipped to become Barcelona's manager at some point in the future, made it abundantly clear that he would never re-sign a player who left the club.
Xavi responded with disdain when he was asked whether he would be in favour of signing Arsenal right-back and former Barcelona youth product Hector Bellerin.
"I haven’t seen him play much, but I’ll say one thing: it would be difficult for me to sign a player we’d already had."
There have been a few cases of La Masia youth products returning to Barcelona to ply their trade. Cesc Fabregas left Arsenal to join Barcelona in 2012 and while he did have his moments, the transfer failed to meet expectations. The same cannot be said of Gerard Pique, who has gone on to become a behemoth at Barcelona since his arrival from Manchester United.
Xavi, however, remained firm in his stand and was unable to understand why youngsters would leave Barcelona.
"Yes, it can turn out good, bad or average. But I’m not in favour of re-signing players who have left. Why do they leave at 16 or 17? It seems ridiculous to me. I don’t understand it."
While Xavi's harsh words may not favour Eric Garcia's return to his boyhood club, Barcelona will need to fill the gaping hole in their defence sooner rather than later.
While Clement Lenglet has established himself at the club, his compatriot Samuel Umtiti has struggled with injuries and is likely to leave Barcelona in the upcoming transfer window. Jean-Clair Todibo is set for a return to the club after Bundesliga club Schalke 04 was unable to sign him permanently.
Eric Garcia's physical traits and his technical ability on the ball make him the ideal long-term replacement for Barcelona's ageing defensive leader Gerard Pique. Whether Pep Guardiola would allow the young defender to escape his grasp is a different matter entirely.