Manchester City youngster Manu Garcia is eager for the opportunity to make his mark at first-team level when Manuel Pellegrini’s team travel to Sunderland in the third round of the League Cup.
The 17-year-old Spanish midfielder impressed on a handful of opportunities with the senior side during pre-season and was an unused substitute when fellow City under-21 player Kelechi Iheanacho netted a dramatic stoppage-time winner at Crystal Palace earlier this month.
Since then, City’s flying start to the season has stalled due to home losses against Juventus in the Champions League and West Ham in the Premier League.
Nevertheless, Pellegrini is expected to shuffle his pack for Tuesday’s re-run of the 2014 League Cup final on Wearside, and Garcia could be one of the players to benefit.
“The Capital One Cup is a competition that is really exciting for all the younger players because we know there is a possibility that we could play and maybe show what we are capable of,” he told City’s official website.
“It’s really positive, not just for me, but for the club.”
Garcia, who cites compatriot David Silva as his role model in Manchester, anticipates facing up to an experienced Sunderland line-up, as manager Dick Advocaat has the opportunity to put a disappointing start to the Premier League season to one side.
“I think Sunderland will go with the majority of their regular starting XI because they haven’t started the season well and this is a very important game for them,” Garcia added.
“They know if they can win a game against City, it could be the springboard for their season and give their players and fans a huge lift.
“But we want to go as far as possible as well so it should be an interesting game. If I am given the chance to play I will be ready.”