Javi García joined Manchester City on transfer deadline day, but the international break has put his much-anticipated debut on hold.
By all accounts, however, he seems to be making a good first impression at the Etihad stadium.
Gareth Barry had this to say about his new teammate (via The Sport Review):
I don’t that much about Javi just yet, but his English is excellent and I have done a bit of individual training with him. He seems like a really good player and I’m sure he’ll adapt to the English game quickly.
So, how will he settle in? What's his role in Roberto Mancini's team, and which position will he prosper in?
Strongest formation: 4-2-3-1
The one-cap Spaniard shared a midfield with fellow anchor Axel Witsel at his previous club, Benfica, and his skill set is very much suited to a holding role on the English Premier League.
He is not blessed with great pace and will never be a box-to-box midfielder, but what he does excel at is keeping it simple, putting in tackles and maintaining pressure.
García is the perfect foil for Yaya Toure's surging runs forward and will comfortably cover the gaps while the full-backs move forward.
If you've not seen him play much, think of him as Nigel de Jong with less aggression (in a good way) but with a better passing ability.
His lack of mobility (compared to his colleagues) may well see him on the bench should his boss elect to use the alternate 3-5-2 formation, as the wing-backs may leave the team stretched, and García may not be fully comfortable playing in a sideline-to-sideline screening role.
Swapping de Jong for Jack Rodwell was never going to be sufficient for Mancini. And as soon as the Italian saw the UEFA Champions League draw, he knew he needed to beef up the midfield.
Remember, life gets even harder now. As reigning champions, you're everyone's scalp. City will play every game against a team hell-bent on beating them, whatever the cost.
That would take its toll on most squads, so having five top-tier central midfielders was a must. García will play an important role this season.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!