James Garner discusses how he felt left out of the Manchester United team
“When I came back to United, I felt like I had a good enough season to have a shot. But unfortunately I got injured on the first day and it set me back two or three weeks, so the manager did not get to see me in training and games.
“It was a decision where – after having two seasons in men’s football – I wanted to be part of a team and squad, ideally starting too. I knew I wasn’t going to get that at United so I made the decision to move here.
“I could have gone on loan again and come back but I felt I would have been in the exact same position I was then. I didn’t want to be stuck in the mud, I needed to make a decision to leave one of the best clubs in the world, which was hard, but it is one I am happy I made.”
Many United supporters were determined to see him given a chance at Old Trafford after a standout loan season at Nottingham Forest in 2021–2022, as he helped the Midlands club earn promotion from the Championship.
Many believed Garner would gain from Erik ten Hag’s reputation for guiding the development of young players at Ajax. The midfielder, who was born in Birkenhead, had an injury on the first day of preseason, forcing him to sit on the sidelines for a while.
James Garner’s decision to join the Toffees actually makes sense
It implied that Ten Hag would not have had the opportunity to examine the 22-year-old closely. Given the presence of Fred, Scott McTominay and the newly-signed Christian Eriksen and Casemiro, it would have been mighty hard for him to get playing time here.
On the last day of the summer transfer window, though, United decided to sell him, approving a transfer to Everton. He signed a four-year contract with the Toffees for £15million, bringing what many believed to be an early end to his United career.
Upon contemplation, Garner was content with his choice.
Garner won the Under-21 European Championship with England in Georgia, his final performance while wearing a Young Lions jersey, and he went into the preseason with Everton on a high note. Perhaps, it is better that his move to Everton is worthwhile as he is able to showcase his talent.
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We also gained a neat little sum for a player who perhaps did not have a future here. Maybe a fourth or fifth-choice midfield role is what he could have hoped for at best. Manchester United fans, however, would have no qualms with him and would wish that the 22-year-old realises his potential on Merseyside.