May 16, 2020
Manchester United will reportedly allow James Garner to leave the Old Trafford club for the 2020/21 season on loan which could give him the experience to break into the first team the season after. The Birkenhead-born midfielder has been part of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first team this season, making six appearances for the club.
The 19-year-old will have seen the likes of Brandon Williams and Mason Greenwood break into the first team this season, so will be seeking a way to do this himself. He plays in either a central midfield or defensive midfield position, the latter being a position that United will need to think about improving with Nemanja Matic not getting any younger.
Garner could follow in the footsteps of many a player at United who had a period away from the club on loan, such as David Beckham who was loaned to Preston North End before making his debut at United, and look how well that went for the lad. He is not the only player, but a good example and Garner could do a lot, learning a lot at the same time.
United first team coach, Michael Carrick is a big fan of Garner and he will be hoping to see the player succeed his rise from academy level football into the first team but with the likes of Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes, Scott McTominay, Fred and Matic ahead of him, it could take time for him to achieve his dream.
The loan spell would no doubt add some quality to the player, allowing him to find his feet in a first team environment and show the world what he can do on the football pitch. During his time in the academy, making his debut at U18 level during the 2016/17 season until the current season he has made 73 appearances, scoring 14 goals and nine assists.
Garner has played seven times for the first team, making his first team debut during the 2018/19 season from the bench. He has started three times this season, coming off the bench three times too. He is a talented footballer but at this moment in time, he’s not going to get much first team football, which is something he needs in order to develop fully.
Garner captained the England U17 side which reached the semi-finals of the 2018 UEFA European Under-17 Championship. He has leadership qualities, as can be seen when he played at U23 level. He has scored nine goals for the U23s this season, which has now been cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic, some of them bangers.
The 19-year-old is a player that I rate and one I hope makes it through the academy into first team football. He has something to give United, having been at the club for over a decade. If Carrick sees good things from the player, a player who has been compared to him at times, then there must be something good about him.
If he is loaned from the club, it could be great for him. Look at Dean Henderson. He has spent every season away from the club on loan, rising from the National League with Stockport County to League Two with Grimsby Town, to League One with Shrewsbury Town then onto the Championship and the Premier League with Sheffield United.