Manchester United told to recall James Garner after Leicester City display in FA Cup win
Arsenal legend Martin Keown has advised Manchester United to recall James Garner from Nottingham Forest following his impressive performance against Leicester City in the FA Cup. The youngster was influential on the day as his side thrashed Leicester 4-1, causing yet another upset after overthrowing the Gunners in the previous round.
The 20-year-old was heavily involved in creating two of the goals for his side and even got one assist in the process. He was a creative force in midfield for Forest while constantly being a thorn for the Foxes through his excellent set-piece deliveries. Keown, who was a major figure for the North London side between 1993 and 2004, was left impressed by the starlet’s display.
Speaking on BBC Sport as a commentator (h/t Metro), the 55-year-old showered praise on the Red Devils loanee for his excellent technical abilities on the ball. He added that the midfielder had grown a lot during this loan period, and Man United should look towards recalling him at the earliest.
Again, set-piece, the ball in from Garner is an absolute beauty, look at the whip on that. You can’t underestimate the quality that Garner is putting into this box. He’s on loan from Manchester United – they need to be thinking about getting him back there quickly!”
“I like the way he’s developing, growing as a player. Second year here on loan, you can see the development. He’s certainly playing with a lot more confidence right now.
Interestingly enough, we have largely been underwhelming on set-pieces this season which makes the prospect of cutting the loan short a good idea. However, we must take into consideration that this progress is down to the environment he has enjoyed at the Championship club.
Plus, the Englishman is nearing the end of his loan period, so it would not be wise on our part to end the deal prematurely at this stage. Moreover, Manchester Evening News stated that the club assessed the option of a recall but opted against it in the end. That tells us his performances are not going unnoticed and that he could have a future at Old Trafford.
Is it a good idea to recall a youngster and throw him in the starting XI already? That could be a bit of a step up for him, in all honesty. There is no hiding that we could use some quality in central midfield, but it won’t be worth potentially damaging our relationship with Forest to prematurely end the loan deal because for that to happen, Rangnick must actually make it worth Garner’s time to return to Old Trafford.
It is good to see that we allowed the starlet to stay with the Championship side. After all, it would only benefit us in the long run as he would develop into a better player with more game time. He also hopes about having a spot with us next season which could be a possibility under the current circumstances.
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An overhaul in the midfield is long overdue, looking at the instability we have been suffering from due to inadequate options. It is natural for a fan or a famed pundit like Keown to give a reactionary take and believe that Garner should return as soon as possible after his display against Leicester.
But he has a good thing going on at The City Ground and we should let that stint of his career run its course. And after a pre-season with us before the start of the next campaign, we would be better placed to take a decision on his long-term United future.