David Ornstein has dropped a claim on reported Tottenham Hotspur transfer target James Garner.
In a recent article for The Athletic, the transfer insider revealed that Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is now ready to let the central midfielder leave Old Trafford this summer, with United expected to demand a figure in the region of £14m in order to part with the England U21 international.
Ornstein goes on to state that a number of Premier League sides could now make a move for the 21-year-old, with Everton, Southampton and Leeds United all believed to be interested in the youngster, while Fabio Paratici is also thought to have scouted the former Nottingham Forest loanee ahead of a potential move of his own this summer.
With it being known that Antonio Conte is interested in the idea of adding another central midfielder to his Tottenham squad this summer, with one reported target of the 52-year-old said to be Southampton’s £75m valued James Ward-Prowse, it is not difficult to understand why Paratici could now be targeting a move for Garner.
Indeed, there are clear similarities between the two midfielders, not only in their respective numbers returned last season but also in their traits on the pitch and proficiency in dead-ball scenarios.
In terms of returns, over Ward-Prowse’s 36 Premier League appearances last time out, the £28.8m-rated talent scored ten goals, registered five assists and created eight big chances for his teammates, as well as taking an average of 1.5 shots, making 2.0 key passes and completing 1.8 long balls per game.
In comparison, over Garner’s 41 Championship appearances for Forest, the £6.3m-rated midfielder scored four goals, provided eight assists and created seven big chances for his teammates, in addition to taking an average of 1.1 shots, making 2.0 key passes and completing 1.5 long balls per fixture.
Furthermore, the Southampton captain also made an average of 1.1 interceptions, 1.1 tackles and won 2.6 duels per outing last season, while Garner made an average of 1.4 interceptions, 1.8 tackles and won 3.9 duels per game.
Aside from their similarities in respective metrics, the duo are also considered to be set-ball specialists, with Ward-Prowse scoring no less than 14 goals from direct free-kicks over his Premier League career, while Garner has also been praised for the accuracy of his deliveries from dead-balls, with Forest midfielder Ryan Yates stating of the 21-year-old earlier this year:
“The delivery has got to be good, it’s got to be in the right areas. We’ve got one of the best in the league at that in James. He’s unbelievable. A lot of credit has got to go to him. It probably goes under the radar a bit. He is always practising them, and he is such a threat.”
This ability has seen both players draw comparisons to David Beckham, with Theo Walcott previously stating his belief that Ward-Prowse is “better” at free-kicks than the Manchester United legend, while Trevor Sinclair also claimed that Garner’s deliveries from a dead-ball “remind me of David Beckham.”
As such, considering the clear similarities between the two players, in addition to the stark contrast between their asking prices, it is not difficult to understand why Paratici would be interested in a move for the Manchester United starlet this summer, as it would very much appear as if Garner could well go on to become the next Ward-Prowse at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.