News From Spain: Analysis: Should Fran Garcia be first choice on his return to Real Madrid?

Despite it being on February, Real Madrid are already set to confirm their first signing of the summer transfer window. Fabrizio Romano has confirmed that they have triggered the buy back clause for Rayo Vallecano left back Fran Garcia.

The clause sits at €10m, but Real Madrid will pay half of that having retained a 50% sell-on clause in the deal with their fellow La Liga side. Garcia will join in the summer, and is expected to keep with Ferland Mendy to be first choice left back in Carlo Ancelotti’s squad.

Garcia came through the youth academy at Real Madrid, but failed to establish himself in the first team, making just one appearance in a Copa del Rey tie against UD Melilla in 2018/19 season.

In the summer of 2020, he was sent on loan to Rayo Vallecano, and after helping them to secure promotion from the Segunda Division, signed a permanent deal the following summer. Garcia has been a regular for Los Franjirrojos since he joined, although his time at the club is now set to be over after three seasons.

Mendy is still expected to be number one in the position for next season, despite rumours that Real Madrid officials don’t consider him to have a long term future at the club.

Is there an argument to say that Fran Garcia, upon his return to Real Madrid, should be first choice ahead of Mendy? Being 23, the Spaniard is four years younger than his French counterpart, he should have more of a long term impact at the club, especially if rumours are to be believed about Mendy’s future.

Garcia have proven himself to be a very solid option in La Liga, especially in playing at one of the league’s smaller sides. He is very good at taking the ball forward, and has excellent ability at linking up with his teammates, which is something that he will be asked to do on a regular occasion for Real Madrid.

Mendy has been prone to errors this season, and has cost his team at times. However, he is still a very good option to have in the squad, and allows for Garcia to be used as a rotation option, which would likely be his best role, considering he hasn’t played at a “big” club yet in his career.

Mendy should start next season as first choice at Real Madrid, but Garcia should be looking to push him all the way. The Frenchman has been slacking in his performances, but perhaps having real competition at left back could drive him to improve his game and become one of the best left backs in Europe.

There’s little doubt that Fran Garcia will be an excellent option for Los Blancos, especially at just €5m. However, playing for Real Madrid is a different kettle of fish compared to playing for Rayo Vallecano, and expectation levels should be managed accordingly for the 23-year-old.