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Leeds: David Ornstein drops James Garner claim

Leeds United are interested in a deal to bring James Garner to Elland Road in the summer transfer window.

What’s the talk?

That’s according to David Ornstein’s latest report for The Athletic, in which the transfer insider revealed that Manchester United are now willing to part with the 21-year-old prior to September’s transfer deadline, with Erik ten Hag’s side believed to be demanding a figure in the region of £14m in order to part with the midfielder.

The journalist went on to state Leeds, Everton and Southampton are all keen on a move for the England U21 international, while Tottenham Hotspur are also thought to have scouted the former Nottingham Forest loanee ahead of a potential move of their own in the coming weeks.

The next Carrick

Considering just how exciting a prospect Garner has proven himself to be in recent seasons, it is not difficult to understand why Victor Orta would be keen on a deal to add the 21-year-old to Jesse Marsch’s first-team squad this summer.

Indeed, the £6.3m-rated midfielder excelled over his 41 Championship appearances during a season-long loan at Forest in 2021/22, scoring four goals, registering eight assists and creating seven big chances for his teammates, in addition to making an average of 2.0 key passes – the joint sixth-most in the league – per game.

The £20k-per-week talent also highly impressed in metrics more typical of his position, making an average of 1.8 tackles, 1.4 interceptions, 1.5 long balls and winning 3.9 duels – at a success rate of 53% – per fixture.

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These returns saw the player who WhoScored’s Josh Wright dubbed “absolutely unreal” average a quite extraordinary SofaScore match rating of 7.26, ranking him not only as Steve Cooper’s best performer in the league but also as the joint third-best player in the division as a whole last time out.

As such, it is easy to see why those in the know at Old Trafford have dubbed the 21-year-old as the ‘next Michael Carrick‘ – the all-action deep-lying playmaker who scored 24 goals and registered 37 assists over his 463 appearances for United, and who Pep Guardiola claimed was “one of the best holding midfielders I’ve ever seen” – as Garner is quite clearly a very similar ball-playing yet solid mould of midfielder as the 41-year-old was in his prime.

Indeed, should Orta manage to fight off the likes of Everton, Southampton and Spurs for the England youth international’s signature this summer, not only would he appear to be something of a bargain for just £14m, he could well prove to become the next Carrick at Elland Road – a prospect that is sure to excite both supporters and Marsch alike.

Article title: Leeds: David Ornstein drops James Garner claim

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