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Manchester United the big winners in Nottingham Forest loan agreement

Manchester United have always had a useful knack of producing home-grown talent, from George Best and the Busby Babes to Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard via David Beckham, Ryan Giggs and the fabled ‘Class of ‘92’.

There is clearly something in the Lancashire water and the Red Devils may have another class act on their hands in the form of James Garner. He has a long way to go before rubbing shoulders with some of the iconic names that have gone before him, but potential is clearly there to be unlocked.

The Red Devils are aware of that fact and are doing their best to ensure that a carefully laid path to the top is trodden. Within that steep learning curve, wings need to be spread and invaluable game time picked up.

That is where Nottingham Forest come in. The two-time champions of Europe have fallen on hard times in the 21st century, but they remain a big draw in English football and offer a useful stage on which names can be made.

The hope at the City Ground is that more good times lie just around the corner, with Championship odds at Paddy Power rating them as 20/1 shots to secure promotion back into the Premier League this season.

If said step is to be taken, then a helping hand from the likes of Garner – who forms part of an impressive collection of loan stars on Trentside – is going to be required. Not all of those in Steve Cooper’s squad boast strong ties to the Reds in the form of contracts, but the end goal is the same for all of those gracing the famous Garibaldi.


Garner has shown enough during his time in Nottingham to suggest that he is destined for bigger and better things. He may lack the competitive minutes of many of those around him in the Football League, but class is permanent and he certainly has that.

He is also being taught some important lessons away from the glitz and glamour of Old Trafford that will stand him in good stead whenever steps away from Manchester are retraced.

A second stint at Forest was agreed for the 2021-22 campaign, with familiarity breeding confidence rather than contempt in this instance. Experience may be key at this stage, but there is still plenty to be said for sticking with what you know.

United appear set to become the biggest winners from an agreement that offers them long-term benefits after a short-term spell in the East Midlands is completed.
Not everything has gone right for Garner this season, to the point that questions were asked of whether he would see out the season with Forest when briefly dropping out of favour after current boss Cooper replaced Chris Hughton – the man who completed two deals with United – at the helm.

Such talk always felt a little hasty, though, and favour has been earned once more. Graft has been added to Garner’s game alongside natural guile, with the Championship no place for prima donna passengers who are only interested in doing the fancy stuff.

He is maturing at a rapid rate, adding more strings to his bow and pounds to his price tag along the way, and experiences in a different shade of red – both good and bad – should benefit him and his parent club in the long run when a return to the Theatre of Dreams is made.

Article title: Manchester United the big winners in Nottingham Forest loan agreement

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