James Garner: Man Utd loanee's FA Cup display in Forest 1-0 Arsenal sparks fan discussion

James Garner

Manchester United loanee James Garner put in an impressive display as Nottingham Forest snatched a shock victory over Premier League opponents Arsenal.

Garner joined the Manchester United first team on their pre-season tours in 2018 and 2019 but was only used sparingly as a late substitute.

In February 2019 Garner made his first-team debut in the Premier League, as a 90th-minute substitution against Crystal Palace. Later in the year, he was also given his European debut against Partizan Belgrade in the Europa League.

But eventually, in September 2020, Garner was sent on loan to Championship outfit Watford, where he made 20 appearances before falling out of first-team contention after Watford appointed Xisco Muniz as head coach. Shortly after Garner’s loan was terminated by United in January 2021.

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In January 2021 Garner made a return to the Championship when he signed a loan deal with his current side, Nottingham Forest.

Garner once again featured 20 times for Forest, scoring four goals during the season. He returned to United for pre-season training but was eventually sent back to Nottingham on another season-long loan for the 2020/21 season.

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But this weekend’s performance in the FA Cup against Arsenal has once again got United fans dreaming of a first-team return for the youngster.

A compilation video of his display against Arsenal went viral on Twitter over the weekend as United fans hyped the 20-year-old’s performance.

In the video Garner can be seen making some impressive passes whilst under pressure from Arsenal players and sliding into tackles before taking an excellent free-kick that was only just stopped by the outstretched hand of the Arsenal goalkeeper.

https://twitter.com/CompsMU_/status/1480280006207152130

Unfortunately for Scott McTominay, the comments on the video appear to suggest that United fans would happily sacrifice the Scottish midfielder to see Garner return to the first team.

Here are some of the comments mentioning the Scot:
“Petition to bring Garner back to United and send McTominay to Nottingham?”
“Difference with him and McTominay is Garner is growing into a player outside the spotlight of Manchester United. McTominay we rushed in and now he’s bang average.”
“An actual talent. Should be playing ahead of Scott. James can actually read, break lines and tackle. Unlike Scott.”
“Difference is Garner was seen everywhere on the pitch meanwhile McTominay tries to hide from the ball.”

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There were some fans, however, who simply praised the youngster without mentioning any of the current United midfielders:
“Looks ready for his chance, he is looking more and more mature.”
“This boy is a star… Shouldn’t go out on loan again, should be in the first-team squad next season.”
“Quality player. Must be integrating into the team next season.”

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