The Spaniard is HFC’s latest acquisition and could be a difference-maker next season.

Hyderabad FC mean business in the ongoing transfer window. The Indian Super League outfit have completed the signing of former ATK Mohun Bagan player Edu Garcia. The move comes after the Nizams also brought in striker Bartholomew Ogbeche from Mumbai City FC.

HFC won a lot of hearts last season with their performances. They finished in fifth place, narrowly missing out on the playoffs. The outfit gave a lot of opportunities to young Indian players and are now making sensational moves in the market.

“I am very excited to start my journey with Hyderabad FC. I promise to give my best and help the club grow with my experience and my work,” said Garcia after signing a one-year contract with his new employers. Here Khel Now takes a look at how HFC can benefit from the signing of Edu Garcia.

Edu Garcia: The multi-faceted midfielder

Garcia is now a seasoned player in the ISL, after spending two years with ATK (and ATKMB) and a previous stint with Bengaluru FC. The Spaniard is versatile and can play several roles in midfield. As a matter of fact, his utility could make him the most important signing of the season because of new restrictions. The new rules will restrict clubs from fielding more than four foreign players next term onward.

Speaking in positional terms, Garcia has the ability to play as a deep-lying playmaker, a winger, an attacking midfielder or even as a box-to-box player. He is adept at scoring goals and at creating them too. Hyderabad FC were short on playmakers last season and a large chunk of supply for the forwards came from the full-backs. 

Manolo Marquez requires a distributor from midfield to feed the marauding full-backs and this is a role Garcia can perform efficiently. The hierarchy at the club have been smart in bringing the Spaniard to the club as he solves multiple issues in the squad. 

The numbers behind the man

Edu Garcia has played over 47 games in the ISL overall. The midfielder has a great attacking output, considering the comparatively fewer number of minutes he got with ATKMB in particular. The 31-year-old has 12 goals and 10 assists overall, with a 13% goal conversion rate. Furthermore, the midfielder has attempted over 93 shots, which suggests he likes to test goalkeepers.

Edu Garcia has been involved in 22 goals in his ISL career

Edu Garcia will be vital to HFC’s midfield performance, which could do with an improvement. He has amassed 1555 passes and 2009 touches in merely 47 games, despite often coming on from the bench. A regular starting place in the HFC lineup could see a rise in the attacking output of both the player and the club.

A hard-worker

Edu Garcia is a tireless runner, who does his utmost to win the ball back. Pressing as a unit was one of the defining characteristics for the Nizams last season and Garcia will aid in employing this tactic.  

The numbers justify the work Garcia puts in without the ball. He has over 120 successful tackles with 36 interceptions, 58 clearances and 38 blocks. He is a clean player too, with only two yellow card cautions in 47 games. 

Despite his age, Ogbeche is also a tireless worker. Both Garcia and Ogbeche could interchange positions, causing multiple issues to opposition defenders. The ability to slot in as a forward adds an extra element to Garcia’s game. He is also adept at delivering accurate crosses from set-piece situations.

The verdict

Signing Edu Garcia could be the difference-maker for Hyderabad FC next season. The club aim to go a step better and qualify for the playoffs for the first time. They are making the right strides in the transfer market and trust the tactician to get the best out of the players.

Edu Garcia is a one-time ISL winner and knows how to win games. His experience will aid the younger players in the squad. There is a growing picture that suggests that the club are looking to strike a perfect balance between youth and experience.

Considering all things, signing Edu Garcia is a statement of intent. HFC are ready to challenge teams like Mumbai City FC, ATKMB, FC Goa and others for the top spots in the Indian Super League.

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