Derby County have reportedly registered their interest in signing Manchester United midfielder James Garner, according to The Athletic (Wednesday 11th August 2021).
The Rams had problems heading into the 2021/22 Championship campaign, with Wayne Rooney struggling for senior depth in his first-team squad.
Derby named a youthful substitutes bench during pre-season and their season opener against Huddersfield Town, but they have added some much-needed depth to their team in recent weeks.
However, they’re seemingly keen to continue to strengthen, with The Athletic claiming that Rooney is keen on raiding his former club for a potential agreement with James Garner.
Garner spent the 2020/21 season on loan with Nottingham Forest, and his short-term future at Old Trafford remains ‘up in the air’ heading into the new Premier League campaign.
Garner spent the first half of last season on loan with Watford but found regular minutes hard to come by with Xisco Munoz’s side, who already have a considerable number of options in their midfield, which limited Garner’s game time.
That saw him briefly return to Old Trafford with Manchester United, before going on to sign for Nottingham Forest, who gave him first-team games at the City Ground.
Garner repaid that faith shown in him by Chris Hughton, by turning out with a number of strong performances for the Reds, as they finished 17th in the Championship table.
The midfielder had an average Whoscored rating of 6.98 for Nottingham Forest last term, which put him top of the list of their best performers from last year’s campaign.
Garner averaged two tackles per game, as well as an average of 1.7 interceptions per game, which shows that he can offer the ideal protection to a Derby County defence that is yet to keep a clean sheet in all competitions this term.
Forest are believed to be keen on re-signing Garner on a temporary basis this summer, although they’ve been joined by Derby County in the race to land the 20-year-old’s signature.
Garner was once labelled as ‘the next Michael Carrick’ by Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, after the midfielder came on as a substitute against Crystal Palace during the 2018/19 season.
“I believe he’s got the chance to have a great future, he knows we believe in him, we’ve got great faith in him as the next Michael Carrick.”
Derby County could be in the market for another midfielder in the near future, with Graeme Shinnie being linked with a move to League One side Ipswich Town before the summer transfer window reaches a conclusion.
So, it makes perfect sense for the Rams to use Rooney’s contacts at Manchester United for a potential deal to sign Garner, as he’s shown that he can perform to a more than good enough standard in the second-tier of English football.
He’ll be keen to further his development with a loan move elsewhere, and if Derby can offer him regular game time, then you would imagine they’ll have a good chance of landing his signature.
However, competition to strike a deal to sign Garner is fierce and the Rams will have to do all they can to convince him to sign for the club this summer.
Wayne Rooney’s side are set to take on newly-promoted Peterborough United in their second match of the 2021/22 Championship season, in what could potentially be a tricky test against Posh at London Road.
AND in other news, this star could be set for a Derby County exit…