Aleix García will join champions Bayer Leverkusen to bolster Xabi Alonso's midfield options. - © IMAGO/Bagu Blanco / PRESSINPHOTO
Aleix García will join champions Bayer Leverkusen to bolster Xabi Alonso's midfield options. - © IMAGO/Bagu Blanco / PRESSINPHOTO

Aleix García: Who is Bayer Leverkusen’s new Spanish midfielder?


Bundesliga champions Bayer Leverkusen have confirmed Aleix García as their second signing of the summer. But who is the 26-year-old set to compete with Robert Andrich, Granit Xhaka and Exequiel Palacios for a starting spot under Xabi Alonso? gives you the lowdown…

Data correct as of 13 June 2024

Aleix García

Age: 26 (born 28 June 1997)
Bayer Leverkusen
Spain (2 caps)

Key stats

García joins Leverkusen having helped relative Spanish minnows Girona qualify for the UEFA Champions League for the first time in their history. The 26-year-old played in all but one of their 38 LaLiga fixtures last season, wearing the captain’s armband for more than two thirds of those encounters. While predominantly expected to draw the best out of others, he scored three goals and provided a further six assists.

It has been quite the journey for García who, after starting out with hometown club Ulldecona, moved to local giants Villarreal aged eight in 2005. After rising through the ranks, he made his bow for the Yellow Submarine’s second string nine years later in April 2014 as they defeated Badalona 1-0 in Spain’s third tier. He then spent the following 12 months bouncing between the B and C sides before making his first-team debut in May 2015 as a LaLiga substitute.

That would prove to be his only league appearance for the club, with him switching to Manchester City a few weeks later. He was never a regular there, although he did amass eight appearances, scoring once – instead, it was out on loan where he made a bigger impression.

Aleix García made eight appearances for Manchester City earlier in his career. - imago sportfotodienst

His first stop was Girona, initially featuring 51 times in LaLiga between 2017 and 2019. However, after the Blanquivermells were relegated in 2018/19, he embarked on temporary spells across Europe, turning out for Belgium’s Mouscron, Romania’s Dinamo Bucharest and Eibar in his homeland before returning to Girona permanently in 2021.

Now settled, García first inspired Girona to promotion in 2021/22 before playing 31 times as they consolidated their place amongst the elite in 2022/23. His displays this past term have easily been the best of his career and, not only did he and his teammates qualify for the continent’s premier club competition, he was included in LaLiga’s Team of the Season.

Also, following numerous games for Spain’s national youth teams, he picked up his first senior cap as he came on in the 2024 UEFA European Championship qualifying victory over Cyprus in 2023 – making him the first-ever Girona player to play for the national side. Although he was cut from Luis de la Fuente’s final Euro squad after being included in the preliminary group, it has still been a year to remember for García.

Aleix García made his debut for Spain against Cyprus in 2023. - IMAGO/DAX Images

Plays a bit like: Granit Xhaka

Alonso captured the Swiss midfielder from Arsenal before the historic 2023/24 campaign, and the new man ultimately had a decisive impact – Die Werkself will be hoping García can make a similar contribution. The new arrival is comfortable in possession and was tasked with keeping the ball moving for Girona, much like Xhaka at the BayArena.

He also has an infrequent eye for a goal from distance, netting as many leagues strikes as his new partner in crime this past season. It remains to be seen whether García is an alternative or a starter alongside the Leverkusen metronome, but if he performs anywhere near Xhaka’s level, he will quickly become a fan favourite.

Did you know?

While at Manchester City, García played with future Bundesliga stars Lukas Nmecha, Angeliño and Jadon Sancho – as well as current Leverkusen right-back Jeremie Frimpong! The two lined up for City’s U23s in a 4-3 defeat to Southampton in August 2019, which proved to be their only shared appearance for the English Premier League outfit at any level.

Watch: Granit Xhaka - breaking the lines

What they are saying

“Aleix is a player with excellent strategical abilities, he very assured in his passing game and has great vision from his position in holding midfield. He has leadership qualities that will be very valuable to us in the coming years. We’re pleased we could sign him. He’s an important factor in the realisation of our ambitious goals.” - Bayer Leverkusen managing director for sport Simon Rolfes

“He’s a footballer that I like, he’s having a huge season. He has a lot of technical ability and the level to play here, to play for Barcelona. If he wants to play here? Who wouldn’t want to play for a big team like Barca?” - Former Barcelona manager Xavi in December 2023

“How well can he hit it? You’re watching and you’re saying, ‘Wow, he can put it wherever he wants, it doesn’t matter how far’.” - José Luis Mendilibar, García’s coach at Eibar

“Aleix played really well tonight. He was a little bit shy at the beginning, but he’s a player with something special. I’m really pleased with his performance.” - Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola after the team’s 5-1 win over Huddersfield in 2017