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Blues loan stars are planning to stay and stick it out in La Liga.

Byline: JOE BRAY

CITY loan pair Aleix Garcia and Patrick Roberts are thinking about the bigger picture as they attempt to make an impact at Girona.

Defensive midfielder Garcia spent last season at the Catalan club, while Roberts joined from the Blues in the summer after a long-term loan spell at Celtic.

While Garcia has appeared 11 times this season, including six starts, Roberts has struggled for game time and has only made two starts. Both, however, have started Girona's last two La Liga fixtures against Valencia and Leganes.

Reports had suggested that Roberts was considering cutting his loan spell short after playing just 125 minutes of football across seven substitute appearances until his first start against Valencia earlier this month. And Garcia has revealed that he did not intend to return to Girona after last season's loan spell, where he started just eight games all campaign.

But he explained to Mundo Deportivo that a lack of first-team pathway at City was a factor in his decision to head back to Spain.

"I said that I would not return to Girona, but the change of coach was decisive," he explained.

"I will always wish Pablo Machin [former Girona manager] the best, but the arrival of Eusebio and his football was key to being able to return. The good atmosphere of the dressing room and the fans were also key.

"It was decided I had to go back out [on loan], basically because I had no option to get minutes and develop [at City]. They recommended I return to Girona, they believed that Eusebio's football would go very well [for me]."

Garcia also confirmed he is thinking ahead to next season, while remaining focused on the task ahead for Girona.

"Next season? The most important thing is to think about this season and to focus on continuity," he added.

"What has to happen next year will come. Right now I'm only thinking of helping Girona as much as possible."

Roberts also plans to stick out his loan spell in Spain, telling TV3 that he is ignoring the rumours of a possible return to City in January.

Another Blues player on loan at Girona, Douglas Luiz, is injured after playing eight games for the club this season.

Luiz had featured in every game for his loan side since moving from City, but missed the last two games with a muscle problem.


Patrick Roberts during his loan

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Manchester Evening News (Manchester, United Kingdom)
Geographic Code:4EUSP
Date:Nov 20, 2018
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