His time at Watford may have been calm, but Manchester United midfielder James Garner turned heads on his loan spell at Nottingham Forest in the second half of the season.
The 20-year-old quickly became a key man in Chris Hughton’s midfield – showing both his defensive tenacity and his quality going forward.
The Reds might struggle to bring him back on loan the following quarter, however, agent recently revealed that Brighton, Rangers and the waiting Premier League side of Norwich City are all excited.
Daniel Farke’s Canaries are on course to bounce straight back to the top of the range in style and are eight points clear atop the league table after their 7-0 pounding over Huddersfield Town on Tuesday night.
With another Premier League season on the horizon, we described the impact of Garner’s arrival this summer …
A replacement for Oliver Skipp
Replacing the loaned Tottenham appears to be one of Norwich’s key tasks this summer.
Skipp joined the club ahead of the 2020/21 campaign and has been an integral part of the Canaries, handling the game from midfield and helping forwards ahead of him impress.
Reports earlier this year suggested that Spurs had turned down Norwich’s early attempts to bring the 20-year-old back on loan for the 2021/22 campaign, but that Garner’s signing would help them resolve that issue.
Both are all-on-action central midfielders who are comfortable moving forward and backing, as well as playing in tight spaces.
If Norwich signed Garner, he could be the perfect replacement for Skipp.
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Add a hungry young player to their squad
Should United decide to loan Garner to another Premier League club next season, the midfielder will undoubtedly be hungry to prove to the Red Devils that he’s good enough to take him to the top of English football.
It should be a real boost for the Canaries, who will land a player full of determination and drive – and who has shown Forest how happy he is to redeem at a loan club.
From Farke’s perspective, having a player with that kind of attitude will surely be a major boost.
More financial flexibility to improve the team in other areas
There was a lot of transfer talk involving a number of key Norwich players ahead of the summer, with Emi Buendia and Max Aarons seemingly not short of suitors.
Reaching Garner on loan shouldn’t cost too much, and as previously discussed, that should mean they don’t have to focus too much energy on replacing Skipp.
This would give them more financial flexibility to improve their squad in other areas, including finding replacements if some of their current star players leave.