The United midfielder has been winning plenty of plaudits during his latest loan spell at Nottingham Forest, aiding the Championship side in their top-six push and into the FA Cup fifth round
James Garner’s recent form has been hugely encouraging for onlooking Manchester United fans.
The young midfielder is once again on loan at Nottingham Forest, having spent the second half of last season at the City Ground.
He starred in the Reds’ stunning victory over FA Cup holders Leicester last weekend and in midweek he scored a well-crafted goal as Forest moved up into the Championship play-off places for the first time this season.
His improving form has not gone unnoticed. Ex-Manchester City midfielder Trevor Sinclair compared Garner’s skills from dead-ball deliveries to those of David Beckham.
Meanwhile, former Arsenal man Martin Keown suggested Garner’s parent club “need to be thinking about getting him back there quickly”.
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However, that suggestion has been rubbished by John Barnes. The Liverpool legend believes that United first need to get a permanent manager in before making rash decisions on Garner’s future.
“At Arsenal, Mikel Arteta is the long-term manager, he’s the man in control. Therefore, if he decides to drop any of the senior players, like he did with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, he will be supported – there is no manager at Manchester United,” Barnes said, speaking to BonusCodeBets.
“They can’t bring a young player like James Garner back into the fold and ignore the senior players without there being a long-term manager.
“Ralf Rangnick is there now but he’s not going to be the long-term manager and we don’t know who that’s going to be.
“Manchester United have to play their superstars and their strongest team every week regardless of their form. They can’t put all the pressure on the youngsters because they’re in a different position to Arsenal.
“If they were to bring James Garner back and he’s put in the team ahead of more senior players, that will only cause more disunity and we know how powerful the players are there.
“If a manager comes in who can make decisions like bringing Garner back in to play over Paul Pogba, then they’ll have to support him.
“But at this moment in time, Manchester United don’t have stable footing at a managerial level to make those kinds of calls.”
Prior to his latest City Ground loan, Garner penned a contract extension at Old Trafford.
The deal lasts until June 2024 with the option of an additional year’s extension. After agreeing terms, Garner told United’s website: “I’m made up, Manchester United has been a massive part of my life for over 10 years now.
“My ambitions are obviously to become a first-team player here. I know exactly what it takes, I’m ready to go and showcase my ability to everyone and keep on striving for all my goals.
“I want to be a big player for this club one day, that is my ultimate aim and I’ll be working every day to make that happen.”