Nottingham Forest had a relatively quiet January transfer window, bringing in three players in Filip Krovinovic, Glenn Murray, and James Garner. The latter two, however, were on loan to Watford at the beginning of the season. Neither were considerably successful for the Hornets. The early story at The City Ground is shaping up to be much different.
Nottingham Forest Smart to Snap Up James Garner And Glenn Murray
The Players’ Times At Watford
Both Murray and Garner were loaned to Watford prior to the 2020/21 EFL Championship campaign. Murray arrived from Brighton & Hove Albion in anticipation of a Troy Deeney departure. Garner came in from Manchester United to fight for consistent starting minutes.
Murray never found his footing at Vicarage Road. He made one league start for the Hornets and never found the back of the net. His final kick for Watford was a narrowly-wide shot against Wycombe Wanderers at the end of October. From then on, he trained on his own in hope of a move to somewhere else for the second portion of the campaign. When Nottingham Forest came calling, he was more than ready to make an instant impact.
The case of Garner at Watford is a tricky one to dissect. The central-midfielder featured in 21 of his first 23 matches in all competitions for the Hornets. However, as time went on, starts turned into cameos off of the bench. The switch from Vladimir Ivic to Xisco Munoz as manager, coinciding with the return of Will Hughes, did not help Garner’s case in the quest for playing time. With Watford, Garner consistently put in decent performances, albeit none were beyond expectations.
After spectating three consecutive matches from the bench, the youngster and Manchester United determined his loan move was not meeting its aim – and so they terminated the loan. Garner and the Red Devils, like Murray, were pleased when Nottingham Forest offered to take him in.
Murray and Garner Shining With Nottingham Forest
Both of the former Watford loanees have taken to life kindly under Chris Hughton. The Murray and Garner Nottingham Forest are playing appear to be entirely different players than who they were with Watford.
Murray, who looked as if his goal-scoring prowess had fully left him when he was with Watford, scored twice in his first start. Considering Watford’s strikers only have a total of eight goals from open play all season, Murray’s impressive full-debut has to raise questions about how little support the Hornets may have been giving him.
Garner, who was mediocre with Watford, played the full ninety minutes in both of his matches so far. The youngster has been a standout performer, showing great composure and discipline.
The fact both players are performing much better once departing Watford makes one wonder about what needs changing at Vicarage Road – or what relegation-fighters Nottingham Forest are doing so much better than the promotion contenders.