Arsenal are reportedly working to sign Barcelona defender Eric Garcia as a replacement for the injured Jurrien Timber.

Arsenal sent a statement of intent earlier this summer when they completed the £34 million (plus add-ons) signing of Timber from Ajax.

The 22-year-old centre-back is one of the most highly-rated young player in Europe, and was expected to help bolster Arsenal’s Premier League title bid after losing out to Manchester City last season.

However, Timber suffered an ACL injury in the Gunners’ first match of the season and will likely miss most of the campaign.

Arteta is keen to bring someone in to help alleviate the loss of Timber, and he has turned to someone he knows well.

According to Football Transfers, Arsenal want to sign Eric Garcia from Barcelona.

The English side want to bring the 23-year-old Spaniard in on loan, although Barca would prefer to sell him in order to ease their financial situation.

Garcia has fallen out of favour under Xavi despite only joining the club in 2021, so Barca are unlikely to stand in his way.

He is also versatile, something Arteta desires in a Timber replacement.

Arteta knows only too well the levels Garcia can operate at, having worked with the young defender when he was Pep Guardiola’s assistant at Manchester City.

The Spain international is regarded as one of the best ball-playing defenders around, as shown by some of his statistics.

According to FBref- as relayed by FootballFanCast – Garcia ranks among the top 5% of central defenders across Europe’s top five leagues over the past year for pass completion, the top 1% for progressive passes and the top 3% for passes attempted and progressive carries.

While there might be question marks over Garcia’s pure defensive abilities, there is no denying that he would fit Arteta’s possession-based system well.

Garcia’s positional flexibility would allow him to cover at right-back, or even step up into midfield when in possession like John Stones does at Man City.

Arsenal are reportedly open to offers for Gabriel and are set to send Kieran Tierney on loan to Real Sociedad, so there is certainly room for Garcia in Arteta’s squad.

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