Manu Garcia went on his third loan away from Manchester City this season.
His first spell away, with Alaves, was an absolute disaster. He picked up a grand total of 31 minutes in the Copa del Rey… against Gimnastic.
That loan was cut short in the 2017 January window, and he was sent to NAC Breda. It worked out much better, and the attacking midfielder stayed there for the next season.
Garcia got plenty of appearances in the Dutch second division during his initial spell. NAC reached the play-offs and gained promotion to the Eredivisie. During the second, season-long, loan, he made 35 appearances, scored a goal and added two assists.
In the summer 2018 window, it was reported in Spain that Garcia had offers from Toulouse, Girona and Espanyol.
He chose the French option, and the Manchester City player was quickly given some hard truths. The club’s manager Alain Casanova said in September: “I could see he was a bit too calm, a bit too confident in a sense that he expected that everything would fall into place. However, we couldn’t afford to wait for that. Especially him. He’s got huge potential, but if he hasn’t expressed it yet, it’s because he’s lacking in places.
“He needs to be better with his intensity, and winning the ball back, reacting when the ball is lost. He needs to expand his game. He’s a great player with the ball. He needs to become a great player without it.”
A month later, the youngster himself spoke to the French media: “Ligue 1 is a very physical league. It doesn’t suit my traits, but that’s also why I came here. I wanted to show my game and judge myself in a more athletic league. It can open a lot of doors for me. I’m very happy to be here, I like the football, the town, the club. I want to make the most of it and then we’ll see.”
He also explained that moving back to Manchester City was the aim, to play Champions League football and win things.
Garcia has again spoken in France, and asked why his season faded at Toulouse, he told L’Equipe: “I made a good start because we played nice football at the beginning of the season. We had more ball and I played better. But as the results did not come, it became more and more difficult and we began to play an increasingly ugly game. We wanted to play this way all season, but it did not work. I need to be in a team that develops ball possession as much as possible. We have not persisted in this way in recent months, it’s a shame.”
Perhaps feeling the 21 year old was being a little arrogant, L’Equipe put it back to him: ‘One could blame you, on the other hand, for not having been decisive enough.’
Garcia responded: “I am the kind that especially needs to touch the ball. After, of course, I have to become more decisive, it is important for me and for the team in which I evolve. I have to progress in this area.”
Over the Ligue 1 season with Toulouse, he didn’t manage a goal but did provide four assists.
As for his future, the young Spaniard said: “I have offers in a lot of places (Italy, Spain) and I’m not sure what I’m going to do. Nothing is defined. I have to talk with City. But I think they’ll sell me.”