Tottenham Hotspur have made a move in their bid to bring James Garner to north London this summer.
That’s according to Alan Nixon, with The Sun journalist revealing in a recent post on his Patreon page that, following reports on Monday morning suggesting that Fabio Paratici has been keeping a close eye on the situation of the Manchester United midfielder, the Italian sporting director has now submitted an opening bid for the 21-year-old.
However, it is suggested that this offer does not meet United’s reported £14m asking price for the England U21 international – who Nixon claims Tottenham view as a long-term project in the middle of the park, as well as one who will help the club with their issues regarding the number of homegrown players in their first team squad.
Considering just how talented a young midfielder Garner undoubtedly is, coupled with the youngster’s signing helping Spurs with their aforementioned homegrown player issue, it is not difficult to see why Paratici would be keen on a move to bring the United starlet to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium prior to September’s transfer deadline.
Indeed, over his 41 Championship appearances throughout a year-long loan spell at Nottingham Forest in 2021/22, the £6.3m-rated prospect proved to be one of the stories of the season, bagging four goals, providing eight assists and creating seven big chances for his teammates, as well as making an average of 2.0 key passes – the joint sixth-most in the league – per game.
The youngster who Josh Wright dubbed “unreal” also impressed in metrics more typical of his central midfield position, making an average of 1.8 tackles, 1.4 interceptions, 1.5 long balls and winning 3.9 duels – at a success rate of 53% – per fixture.
These metrics saw the £20k-per-week prospect average a simply sensational SofaScore match rating of 7.26, ranking him not only as Forest’s best player in the division but also as the joint third-best performer in the second-tier as a whole – playing a key role in Steve Cooper’s side’s promotion to the top flight.
In terms of how Garner’s returns stack up against Antonio Conte’s current options in the middle of the park, the 21-year-old’s four goals would have ranked him as Spurs’ highest-scoring midfielder, his eight assists would have seen him rank as the club’s highest-assisting midfielder and his seven big chances created would have ranked him as Tottenham’s most frequent big chance creator in the Premier League last season.
And, while the argument could be made that the step up to the top flight would see Garner’s numbers reduce, a counter to this suggestion would be that, with the quality of Harry Kane, Heung-min Son, Dejan Kulusevski and Richarlison on the end of the 21-year-old’s deliveries, the youngster could actually see an increase to his creative output on his returns in the Championship.
As such, considering his undoubted talent, his extremely reasonable asking price and his suitability in terms of his homegrown status, signing Garner would very much appear an incredibly smart move for Paratici to make this summer.