MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 09: Josep Guardiola, Manager of Manchester City in discussion with Eric Garcia during the Carabao Cup Semi Final First Leg match between Manchester City and Burton Albion at Etihad Stadium on January 9, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Pep Guardiola has singled out Eric Garcia for praise, describing the young defender as “incredible” and “intelligent”.

Garcia, 18, has made two senior appearances for City this season and Guardiola has been impressed with the Spaniard, who could be in line to play in Wednesday’s Carabao Cup semi-final second leg at Burton Albion.

“I can count on him,” Guardiola said via the club’s website.

“He showed me an incredible personality in the Carabao Cup [games against Leicester and Burton], and especially in preseason when he played with younger players.

“It’s easier when you are a young player to come in and play close to Nico [Otamendi], or David Silva or Kevin [De Bruyne] – but play there with six, seven young academy players, and he was really the captain, and he guides and he leads in three hard games.

“He was incredibly good. In the Carabao Cup he was good. But he’s young. Is he a third, fourth defender, one more year in academy, or do we loan? We are going to decide in the next months what happens next season.

“But I am incredibly satisfied, not just with the games but the way he trains, his behaviour, how polite he is, how he listens, how when he has doubts, he always asks myself, my staff, Mikel [Arteta].

“He is so smart, so intelligent. He understands everything so quick. His physicality is not so strong, but he resolves situations by thinking.

“I like to work with intelligent people and he is one of them.”