Premier League newbie Javi Garcia claims he moved to the biggest club in England after sealing a £15.8million deal with Manchester City.
The Spanish playmaker joined from Benfica in Roberto Mancini’s manic deadline-day wheeling and dealing but the 25-year-old was unsure if the transfer would be secured in time.
Garcia is a product of Real Madrid’s youth system and represents his county alongside City teammate David Silva and is now ready for the challenge of ‘the best league in the world’.
“I’m very pleased that everything was sorted out in the end,” he said. “The last few days have seemed very long and quite hard going but at the end of the day, as I say, I’m very happy.
“Without a doubt I’m at the biggest club in England and one of the biggest in Europe currently. So I’m very proud but also aware I’m joining a great side full of top players.
“I’ll have to keep battling hard to earn my place in the starting 11 because that’s much harder to achieve here than at any other club.”
Despite leaving it late to sign players, Mancini snapped up his man with Inter Milan’s Brazilian full-back Maicon and Swansea’s Scott Sinclair.
And Garcia was always set on joining the Italian manager’s squad since he found out the club were interested.
“I never had a doubt whatsoever about coming here from the first moment that my agent told me about the chance to come to City,” he added.
“For sure, however, you see the days going by without any agreement being reached and then it’s the last day of the transfer window and still nothing had been signed.
“We were speaking with the people at Benfica trying to convince them that this was a real one off opportunity for me. Now I just can’t wait to get started here.
“I’ve come to play in a superb league, for me the best in the world, and I’m really eager to make my first appearance for the team.”
And despite having known Silva since they were teenagers, Garcia insisted that his move to the big spending Blues was a decision he made on his own.
“I do know David,” he said. “We’ve been in the Spanish national team squads together at various age groups and also in the full squad together just before the Euros.
“As it goes, at that time I didn’t know for sure that I might be coming here so I didn’t mention anything to him. Although I’ve not yet had the chance to speak to him, when I get here I imagine that he’ll be the person who will be helping me out the most, since we’ve known each other since we were just 17-year-old kids.”
Having moved Yaya Toure further up the field, as the Ivorian’s attacking flare has inspired City to huge victories in the past, and selling Nigel de Jong, Jack Rodwell could be forgiven for feeling a little subdued as his position is already under threat from the holding midfielder.
“My natural position is central midfield, playing just in front of the centre backs,” said Garcia. “I also played as an emergency central defender at Benfica when forced into it.
“But I feel most at home and I honestly think I perform at my best as a holding midfielder just in front of the defence.”