Man City star Eric Garcia wears helmet for Carabao Cup clash against Bournemouth

Eric Garcia made his first Manchester City appearance of the season in their Carabao Cup clash with Bournemouth while wearing protective headgear.

The Spanish centre-back sustained a horror head injury during City’s 3-0 win over Arsenal back in June, leaving the field on a stretcher after colliding at full force with team-mate Ederson.

While his injury was not as serious as first feared, he was still forced to have 16 stitches in his head.

However, the 19-year-old was not required to wear any headgear after making a swift return from that setback during Project Restart.

While plying his trade against the Cherries, the 19-year-old resembled former Chelsea and Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech – who made the helmet famous after suffering a life-threatening skull fracture in his time at Stamford Bridge.

He has been heavily linked with a move away from City this summer, with reports suggesting Barcelona are on the verge of signing him.

That could explain his unusual choice of attire against Bournemouth, as any reopening of the stitches could potentially scupper his dream move to the Nou Camp – where he began his career as a youngster.

Back in June Pep Guardiola revealed Garcia did not want to sign a new contract at the Etihad, having recently entered the final year of his current deal.

“He announced to us that he doesn’t want to extend his contract with Manchester City,” Guardiola told a press conference at the time.

“He has one more year and after that, he doesn’t want to extend. We want it but he doesn’t want to extend it so I imagine he wants to play in other places.”

According to Spanish journalist Alfredo Martinez, Barca have made their move for the wantaway defender and expect to get a deal over the line.

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Garcia impressed after being given a lengthy run at the heart of City’s defence last season, racking up 20 appearances under Guardiola.

Nevertheless, the £41million signing of Nathan Ake from Bournemouth is likely to have pushed Garcia further down in Guardiola’s pecking order this term.

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