Manchester United are renowned for taking their academy prodigies and turning them into superstars for the club, with Anthony Elanga the latest to break through the youth setup to make his mark on the first team this season, and another graduate is emerging as the next rising star for the club to introduce into their side in the future.
Dean Henderson, Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard, Scott McTominay are all current first team players and popular Premier League players that broke through Manchester United’s academy over time and James Garner could be the next player to follow in their footsteps, thanks to a successful season on loan at Nottingham Forest.
The Lancashire club has been crying out for a defensive midfielder with complete attributes to join their side for many seasons now, and they may already have the answer under their nose, saving themselves millions of pounds, if they take a chance on deploying Garner into their midfield next season.
The midfielder who was hailed a “winner” by Forest boss Steve Cooper, is enjoying his first real taste of first team football in the Championship with the Nottingham side, tallying up 26 appearances in the second tier this season so far.
Garner has already scored two goals and three assists for the club so far, with the 20-year-old picking up the second highest rating on average in the entire Nottingham Forest squad this season (7.09) according to SofaScore.
It comes as no surprise that he is so highly rated when you look at his statistics in the league with the player winning the majority of his duels (52%), successful in the majority of his dribbles (65%), creating four big chances and is making 1.7 tackles on average per game.
In fact, only Bruno Fernandes has created more chances in the Manchester United midfield than Garner has for Nottingham Forest, so with that being said not only is he clearly clinical in his defensive play, he is a much more creative player this season compared to the players starting at his parent club.
With that aggressive box to box style of play in mind, he could well be another Roy Keane for the Red Devils, providing strength in the tackle but also a willing option in attacking phases of play.
As a result, the club should be taking a closer look at what Garner could bring to the first team at Old Trafford, and with a new manager set to be appointed in the summer, it could be a good opportunity for the youngster to integrate into the future of the team.
In other news: Elanga must become first choice for Rangnick