Should the youngster make the switch to the south coast, he could potentially emulate Ward-Prowse, who has gone on to captain Southampton having progressed through the academy, contributing 45 goals and 49 assists in 366 appearances for the senior side.
The 27-year-old has developed a reputation as a world-class set-piece taker, with Pep Guardiola describing him as the world’s best, something which Garner is also renowned for.
During his spell at Forest, Trevor Sinclair likened him to David Beckham because of his technical ability, saying: “James Garner’s deliveries remind me of David Beckham’s.
“He’s got that dip and that whip and it causes so many problems. The pace on the ball, he’s putting it on a sixpence every time.
“The advantage is with the attackers because they know where he’s aiming depending on what signal he puts up.
“It’s an absolutely phenomenal cross that he’s got in the locker.”
The 21-year-old made 44 appearances in the Championship for Forest last season, contributing four goals and eight assists, averaging an impressive 7.09 rating from WhoScored for his performances.
The website suggests that Garner’s strengths include taking set-pieces and playing key passes, which are also listed as two of Ward-Prowse’s strengths, while they also both like to shoot from distance, so it is easy to see how they are similar.
Therefore, if Ralph Hasenhuttl can bring Garner to St Mary’s this summer, there is no reason why he couldn’t become as important for the Saints as Ward-Prowse has in recent years. Just imagine the pair standing over a dead-ball scenario, it is a nightmare waiting to happen for goalkeepers across the country.