It is now mathematically impossible for Manchester United to qualify for Champions League football next season and Erik ten Hag has a huge job on his hands this summer in improving the current squad by finding the right solutions.
The club has now entered their longest trophy drought in 40 years to add more salt to the wounds of a very poor and disappointing season at Old Trafford and ruthless decisions must be made by the incoming boss ahead of next season if they have any chance of competing for trophies in the future.
With that being said, it wouldn’t be surprising if no players feel safe and secure in their position in the squad following a string of poor performances of late, taking just one victory and three defeats from their last five games.
One player who has struggled this season is academy graduate Scott McTominay, who has been one of the many players under scrutiny this season.
Former West Ham player Frank McAvennie gave a scathing review of the Scottish midfielder telling Football Insider;
“He’s not good enough for Man United.”
“McTominay is a good player but he just seems to stroll in some games.”
Ten Hag could have an ace up his sleeve if he doesn’t see McTominay as the right fit for his revolution at Old Trafford, as James Garner is shining bright on loan at Nottingham Forest this season and he could save millions by deploying him in Man United’s midfield next season.
The £3.6m-rated gem who was hailed “creative” by Martin Keown and dubbed “special” by Statman Dave, has been proving his worth in the Championship this season with four goals and eight assists in 41 appearances from the centre of the pitch, and it’s not just his goal contributions that have attracted praise.
Garner has won the majority of his duels combined (53%) and has been successful in the majority of his dribbles (58%). He has also created seven big chances whilst making 1.4 interceptions and 1.8 tackles on average per game, proving that he is effective in both offensive and defensive play, offering similar qualities to legendary Man United all-rounder midfielder Michael Carrick.
There is no clarity on the 21-year-old’s future of yet, but following the completion of Forest’s Championship play-off fixtures over the next few weeks, there will surely be a decision made on what next season holds for the young player.
Weakness in defensive play and control of the ball in midfield is no secret at Old Trafford and it is one key area the new manager must solve this summer if they have any chance of improving and allowing Garner to take on that role could be a master-class for Ten Hag in his first season at the club.