Everton will be looking to continue their current unbeaten run against Manchester United this evening at Goodison Park, with the Toffees having now gone six games without defeat in the Premier League amid what’s been a real uplift in form so far this term.
Aided by a rock-solid defensive unit – which has shipped a league-best record of just seven goals to date – Frank Lampard’s side have appeared much improved in comparison to last season’s overall disappointment, with there now a newfound belief that the club can avoid another relegation scrap this time around.
The upcoming meeting with the Red Devils will no doubt pose a stern test for the Merseysiders – despite United having shipped six goals away to Manchester City last weekend – with the home side likely to need to be at their best in order to get a positive result.
One man who will certainly be hoping to make an impact in that intriguing encounter is summer signing James Garner, with the 21-year-old having arrived from Old Trafford on a £15m deal in the recent window.
Despite having been highly-regarded at his former club – notably earning praise from a certain Jose Mourinho – the England U21 international was unable to secure a regular, first-team role at the Theatre of Dreams, making just seven senior appearances in all competitions before his recent exit.
The playmaker had spent the past two seasons out on loan at Watford and Nottingham Forest in the second tier, with the youngster’s impressive form last term, in particular, seeing him earn notable plaudits, with ex-Forest teammate Ryan Yates dubbing him an “unbelievable” asset as a result of his stunning set-piece prowess.
The talented starlet scored four goals and provided ten assists in all competitions during the 2021/22 campaign at the City Ground, helping to fire Steve Cooper’s side to promotion as well as enjoy an eye-catching FA Cup run.
Such form unsurprisingly alerted Lampard and co, with the Toffees swiftly pouncing once the £9.9m-rated ace was made available for transfer, with there having been notable surprise – including from the player himself – that United were willing to sanction a permanent exit, such is his undoubted talent.
The 6 foot 1 menace has since been unable to make an appearance for his new club thus far, although tonight’s clash could well be the perfect opportunity for him to be unleashed, with the Englishman likely having a point to prove against his former employers.
Lampard revealed earlier this week that while the player had arrived at Goodison not quite at full fitness, the emerging talent is now “ready to go” moving forward, with the Chelsea icon stating he is “excited” to see Garner in action sooner rather than later.
Against an opposition whom he knows all about, the Birkenhead-born sensation could well prove to be the difference-maker this evening.