Sunderland could look for more additions in the final days of the transfer window as Phil Parkinson attempts to boost his squad in their pursuit of promotion.
Josh Scowen arrived on Monday but the Black Cats may not stop there, as they are believed to be leading the race to sign Manchester United’s James Garner, with the youngster available for loan.
The 18-year-old has played for both United’s first-team and youth team this season, and will be eager to follow in the footsteps of Mason Greenwood and Brandon Williams, both of whom have featured under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after graduating from the academy.
To do that a loan move could be beneficial for Garner, and it will be interesting to see if that leads him to impress for Sunderland, should he join.
The north-east outfit may have to rely on temporary moves if they are to complete any more business and the deeper their squad, the better their chances are of achieving promotion.
Strengthening the squad should act as a boost to the current players at the Stadium of Light, though given Garner’s youth he may have to be patient as he waits for an opportunity to impress.
Our team of Football FanCast writers have shared their verdict on whether the centre-midfielder would be a good addition for Phil Parkinson’s side.
“Phil Parkinson has got Sunderland playing a possession-based style of football – the Black Cats are seventh in the League One rankings for average possession and pass accuracy – so James Garner would be a perfect fit.
“The Manchester United academy product has earned rave reviews in his fledgling career as a professional footballer, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, in particular, has given him a huge compliment by revealing they have huge faith in him being the “next Michael Carrick”.
“Garner would seamlessly fit into that possession-focused mentality, with Solskjaer also hailing his ability to play both the simple and between-the-lines passes. The 18-year-old is a perfect match for Parkinson.”
“Sunderland don’t have the youngest of squads this season, with Denver Hume the only real regular who can be called a youngster, having started 20 League One games this term. Therefore, the injection of youth that Garner would bring can be seen as a real bonus for Parkinson’s side as they look to secure promotion to the Championship.
“They were shown the impact an effective midfield loanee can have last campaign when Josh Cullen’s cross led to Charlton Athletic’s play-off final winner. If Garner joins, the Black Cats will be hoping he is the one having a moment of glory.”
“James Garner has enjoyed mixed success at United in his eight games in all competitions this season, even playing four times in Europe. However, at 18 years of age, he still has a long way to go and it remains to be seen how he would cope in League One while playing on a regular basis.
“His pass success rate of 90% in the Europa League is eye-catching and tops everyone in the Black Cats’ squad while he also contributed to two goals in two games throughout the EFL Trophy. That bodes well for any move that potentially goes through. A loan deal would also be low risk too so I see little wrong with bringing the teenager to the Stadium of Light in the remaining days of the window.
“Josh Scowen may have already signed but there is still a lack of quality depth with Dylan McGeough departing and Grant Leadbitter remaining an option. He’s achieved an average match rating of just 6.74, via WhoScored, this term. As a result, this could be a smart move.”
“Bringing James Garner in, even on a temporary basis, is a very risky strategy but it seems that Phil Parkinson has been left with little choice due to budget constraints.
“The positive for Sunderland is that the midfielder has game time for the Red Devils’ senior squad under his belt, and he likely benefitted a lot from the tutillage of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and of course Michael Carrick.
“If he can use this potential loan spell to express his talent and make a name for himself then the Black Cats could benefit hugely, not least because it would create a competition for places that should lead to better performances from the other midfielders in the squad.”
Meanwhile, another piece of transfer business constructed by Phil Parkinson may not work out as planned.