The Resurgence of Manchester United Wonderkid James Garner on Loan

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Manchester United have a history of developing young players. From Ryan Giggs to Paul Pogba, the Red Devils’ academy graduates have found much success throughout their careers, and excitement has recently sparked about a new golden generation.

The fifth anniversary of Marcus Rashford‘s senior debut occurred recently, and he has since gone on to become a star player at Old Trafford. Meanwhile, Mason Greenwood emerged into the first-team last season and is now a regular, with his incredible talent giving United’s attack an added edge.

Shola Shoretire also made history on Thursday evening, becoming the youngest player ever to make an appearance in Europe for the Manchester side.

One player who traded United’s youth teams for the Championship last summer was James Garner, who left on loan for Watford in September.

The Resurgence of James Garner on Loan

Struggles at Watford

Garner moved to Watford in September 2020, with the Hornets seeking to bounce straight back to the Premier League after their relegation the previous season. The young Englishman was keen to gain experience in a strong side, something that could have put him in contention for a first-team place upon his return in the summer of 2021, especially with Nemanja Matic turning 33 in August and the potential departure of Paul Pogba.

Garner’s time with the Championship side started well, clearly liked by new manager Vladimir Ivic. The Manchester United loanee accumulated 20 league appearances by mid-December, but, although the Hornets were near the automatic promotion places, Ivic was sacked on December 19th, with his replacement Xisco Munoz quickly brought in.

This was the beginning of the end for Garner at Watford. He fell entirely out of favor with the new manager, as Munoz failed to hand him any appearances at all. Just over a month after the Snapish manager’s appointment, Garner left Vicarage road, joining strugglers Nottingham Forest on a temporary deal that would last until the end of the season.

Garner Takes Opportunity for Resurgence at Nottingham Forest

In his short time there, James Garner has already become a fan favorite at Nottingham Forest. The youngster has shown exactly why Manchester United rate him so highly, with some spectacular performances since moving to Nottingham.

At his new club, Garner has started almost all of the games for which he has been available, and is impressing greatly. Along with the Reds’ other January signings, the midfielder has massively helped their upturn in results. Forest have lost just one of their seven Championship games since Garner’s debut, taking them clear of the relegation zone by 11 points. The prospect also scored his first goal for the club on Friday, with a sumptuous half-volley on the turn from just inside the penalty area.

Garner’s passing has received heavy praise, and has transformed Forest’s performances. His all-around quality has also been noticeable and has certainly earned respect from his new manager and former Brighton boss Chris Hughton.

If the young midfielder is able to keep up his form and become one of the first names on the team sheet under Hughton, he may return to Old Trafford as a squad option in the first-team with the potential to become a true star.


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