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Southampton are interested in James Garner

Southampton are interested in poaching a youngster from a Premier League giant…

What’s the word?

According to The Athletic’s Laurie Whitwell, Manchester United are open to permanent offers for James Garner, who spent last season on loan with Nottingham Forest.

Writing in his column for the Athletic, he notes that, as well as the Saints, Everton, Leeds United and Tottenham Hotspur are all also interested.

A departure is said to only take place if it makes sense for both player and club, with the midfielder valued at £14m.

Imagine him and Ward-Prowse

Garner impressed last season with his workmanlike midfield displays that led to Forest’s promotion, and despite United’s shortcomings in that area, they seem happy to allow this “talented” youngster to leave.

Could James Garner replace Oriol Romeu at Southampton?





To sign for the Saints could be a stroke of genius for Ralph Hasenhuttl, who could form a brilliant partnership in the engine room with his captain James Ward-Prowse.

He would also battle well with Oriol Romeu while further adding another level of quality over the Spaniard.

Garner, who was dubbed “absolutely unreal” by WhoScored’s Josh Wright, featured 40 times last term for Forest, chipping in with four goals and eight assists during a breakout year.

However, it is his 1.4 interceptions, 1.8 tackles and 0.9 clearances that would be of particular interest to Hasenhuttl, as he would offer the perfect balance to Ward-Prowse’s box-to-box nature.

Last season the England international scored ten and assisted five, thriving with the defensive security of Romeu beside him.

The side as a whole would surely benefit more when adding Garner to the midfield, whose 2.0 key passes per game also mark him out as a creative outlet from deep rather than a pure enforcer.

United’s £20k-per-week maestro could be a huge upgrade on what is already at St Mary’s Stadium, and to add him to their ranks would surely help steer the Saints away from a potential relegation battle.

He could add a silkiness to take some of the creative burden from Ward-Prowse, whilst also giving him even more space and freedom due to the added ability beside him.