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Man United midfielder James Garner is out to prove to Erik ten Hag he is ready

James Garner aims for Man United first team after ‘perfect spell’ at Nottingham Forest…

  • James Garner is ready to fight for his place at Manchester United this season
  • Midfielder wants to impress new Red Devils manager Erik ten Hag
  • The 21-year-old will focus on a new loan if regular football is not secured
  • Garner played a key role in the promotion of Nottingham Forest last season

James Garner is poised to make one more move on loan if the Manchester United midfielder fails to become a fixture under Erik ten Hag.

The 21-year-old returned to Old Trafford this summer after an unforgettable season at Nottingham Forest, where he became a fan favorite as they won promotion to the Premier League via the play-offs.

An injury prevented Garner from making the impact he would have wanted on the pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia, but the England Under-21 international’s drive to impress Ten Hag remains undiminished.

Manchester United midfielder James Garner is ready to make another loan this year

Manchester United midfielder James Garner is ready to make another loan this year

“I had a really good season last season – full of confidence, full of experience,” said the academy graduate. ‘I now have the experience I didn’t have.

“I played in some big pressure matches and I just think it’s a new and improved me. It was almost as perfect a borrowing experience as I could have had.

“I played pretty much every game, played well and eventually won promotion. For me it is probably the perfect loan.

“But for me now, because I’ve been playing back-to-back for two seasons where I’ve been playing non-stop games, I don’t really want to stop with that.

Garner offers to become a fixture under new Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag

Garner offers to become a fixture under new Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag

“I want to play week in, week out. That is of course what I want to do.

“I’m not so sure, but the pre-season has been good so far and, as I said, hopefully in the next two, three weeks – we still have games to go – I can show what I can do.”

Garner made his first appearance of the tour as a second half substitute in Saturday’s 2-2 draw against Aston Villa in Perth.

Ten Hag said on the eve of the game that he did not yet have a “complete impression” of the midfielder and wanted to see more before making a decision about his near-term future.

Garner was a substitute in the second half of the Red Devils' 2-2 draw against Aston Villa in pre-season

Garner was a substitute in the second half of the Red Devils’ 2-2 draw against Aston Villa in pre-season

“I want to play for United,” said Garner. ‘Of course that is my goal.

“But I feel that if I don’t play as regularly as I’d like, I’m definitely open to returning to a Premier League club.”

A return to Forest looks like a bull’s eye, as United team-mate Dean Henderson has already been loaned out to the newly promoted club for a season.

Garner is joined by Manchester United on their pre-season tour ahead of the new campaign

Garner is joined by Manchester United on their pre-season tour ahead of the new campaign

Garner believes he has proven he can “definitely play in the Premier League and hopefully that is at United,” with the youngster confident he can fit into Ten Hag’s system.

“I feel like I’m a midfielder who can do pretty much anything,” he said. “I feel like I can play the part of six or eight.

“Last season I also played in the 10-role – I’m not saying I prefer that, but I’m saying I can play in that position if I need to – so I feel like I’m offering everything a midfielder can do.” need.

“I feel I have the qualities to play in the six or eighth role. I think they would only benefit me as a player.

Garner played a key role in promoting Nottingham Forest from the championship last season

Garner played a key role in promoting Nottingham Forest from the championship last season

“Depending on the formation the manager wants to play, I can fit into either role.”

Mentally strengthened by a difficult loan spell at Watford in the first half of 2020/21, Garner radiates confidence after his successful season and a half with Forest.

That’s why the 21-year-old doesn’t want to take his foot off the gas as he looks to extend his seven first-team appearances for United, four of which will be in the group stage of the 2019-20 Europa League.

Midfielder made 41 Championship appearances during his loan spell at City Ground last season

Midfielder made 41 Championship appearances during his loan spell at City Ground last season

Asked if that league could give him a platform this season, Garner added: “I see what you mean, but for me I’d like to play regularly.

‘Europa League doesn’t play regularly for me. It’s only a small amount of playing time from the group stage to the final, hopefully if we make it.

“I’ve had two full seasons now where I played two or three times a week in a row pretty much every week.

“So if I don’t do that now I think it would be a step back in my career and that’s something I don’t really want to do right now.”



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