Birmingham City opinion: Mateo Garcia is a gamble worth taking for the Blues
According to Birmingham Live, Birmingham City have been credited with an interest in Argentine winger Mateo Garcia, with the report claiming that Blues boss Pep Clotet is keen to bag a few more scalps before the deadline in August.
Garcia, who currently plies his trade with Spanish second-tier outfit UD Las Palmas, has only one year left to run on his present contract, having spent the last couple of seasons on loan at three different clubs.
Birmingham Live understands that the 22-year-old is just one step away from completing a move to City and the Argentinian might as well come through the door at St. Andrew’s as Clotet’s seventh signing of the summer window, as the Spaniard continues to ring the changes in order to build a squad in his own image.
Garcia is currently coming off from what is arguably the most successful campaign of his career so far, netting 11 times in 32 appearances on loan for Greek top-flight side Aris Thessaloniki last term.
The talented winger has long been deemed surplus to demands at Las Palmas and with the 22-year-old in the last year of his contract, the Blues might be tempted to firm up their interest in the player and make an attempt to nab him on a cut-price deal.
A youth product of Argentinian second-tier club Instituto Cordoba, Garcia was snapped up by Las Palmas in the summer of 2016 as a part of their plans for the 2016-17 campaign in the La Liga.
The diminutive wide player found it tough to make the jump from the Argentinian second-tier to the Spanish top-flight, and managed only 4 goals in 23 appearances in all competitions in his debut season in Europe.
Lacklustre loan stints at Osasuna and Alcorcon in the Spanish second-tier in the 2017-18 campaign preceded a move to Greek side Aris last summer, however, it looks likely that Las Palmas are going to try and get the winger off their books this time around, given that he is in the last year of his contract.
To put things into perspective, Mateo Garcia might not have the dazzling profile to get the fans at St. Andrew’s off their feet but as a matter of fact, the Blues could bag a real coup if they manage to iron out a cut-price deal for the 22-year-old Argentinian this summer.
Birmingham City have already brought in the likes of Ivan Sunjic, Agus Medina and Dan Crowley to strengthen the midfield, whilst Garry Gardner’s loan spell from Aston Villa has also been turned into a permanent deal.
Clotet has also snapped up winger Ivan Guzman on a free transfer, whilst England U-21 captain Jake Clarke-Salter has arrived on loan from Chelsea as a replacement for Michael Morrison.
It is quite clear from those acquisitions that the new caretaker manager is looking to use his knowledge of the Spanish market in order to bolster the squad and Garcia could be yet another exciting addition to the attacking ranks, which is presently devoid of last season’s top-scorer Che Adams and influential winger Jota.
Essentially a left-winger by trade, Garcia is an elegant left-footed wide player who is noted for his sharpness, agility, pace, acceleration, as well as ability to score and create goals.
The Blues currently do not have too many wide options in their ranks, so the 22-year-old could be a good long-term prospect for the club.
Standing at just 5ft 8in, Garcia might struggle to cope with the physical demands of playing in the Championship and his exploits in Greece hardly guarantee the same kind of success in England’s second-tier.
To add to that, he is relatively unproven at the highest level and his habit of blowing hot and cold during the season means that he could be a gamble for the Blues.
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However, Garcia is still quite young and Birmingham City might have a gem on their hands if he goes on to fulfil his promise at St. Andrew’s in the years to come. With that in mind and the fact that he is unlikely to cost the club a fortune, the 22-year-old is certainly worth a punt for the Blues.