Well, yes and also, to a degree, no.
As Tom Kundert of Portugoal.net says, "He'll give 100% every game and is a solid option. He is very definitely a defensive midfielder, although he played with limited success once or twice at centre-back as cover. He did very well at Benfica and proved to be excellent at the job he was assigned.Javi is a good tough tackler, not afraid to foul when it is necessary." Sounds like there may be some de Jongesque moments to savour in that.
Javi also scores more frequently than de Jong - who doesn't you might add - as a willing and obvious target for cleverly flighted dead balls into the box. here is a definite plus that de Jong could not offer. Where the old king was squat and ground-based, the new pretender is a significant aerial presence at corners and freekicks and will add to the already considerable threat posed by the loping hulks of Lescott, Yaya and Kompany at these critical moments. The vast majority of the 14 goals he notched for the Lisbon Eagles came from that sculpted forehead, although he has a lethal and occasionally accurate right foot, given the opportunity. He developed a happy knack, too, of scoring against Benfica's big rivals, netting in the Lisbon derby twice and at Porto.
His league record reads like this:
|2004–2007||Real Madrid B||86|
Benfica's immediate reaction to losing their defensive talisman was to assure the press, via a ashen-faced Jorge Jesus, that there would be no immediate replacement bought to cover Garcia's departure. "He arrived here unknown and leaves an established star," said Jesus, through gritted hyperbolic teeth. Neither is completely true, in fact. He had already featured widely in the Primera Liga before arriving in Lisbon and is hardly an A-lister on departure.. His immediate replacement is the tough tackling young Serbian Nemanja Matic, although Jesus also mentioned André Almeida and André Gomes (two B team players) as future candidates to do the mopping job. Many think Garcia's exit will free up the excellent Witsel to take on a bigger role too.
What City fans can expect is a big game player with plenty of guts for the fight, an impressive physical presence, built to tackle, block and hassle whoever is in possession. We can expect to see a player, who is positionally sound, difficult to beat and has a flicker of fantasy for the other end of the field when the chance allows.