Manchester United loanee James Garner has impressed again for Nottingham Forest but his performance on Sunday in the FA Cup was perhaps his most impactful of the season despite the result.
As United’s midfield has struggled to perform in the Premier League, the 21-year-old has been putting his case forward for why he should be given a chance back at Old Trafford next term.
Garner’s mature performance against Jurgen Klopp’s side included a sublime pass which led to what could (and perhaps should) have been a penalty which may have turned the tie in the Championship side’s favour.
WOW! Another huge VAR call
Have Alisson and Liverpool got away with one here? 💭#ITVFootball | #EmiratesFACup | #NOTLIV pic.twitter.com/c8Vrho8ziS
— ITV Football (@itvfootball) March 20, 2022
The academy graduate’s contribution to the game caught the eye of the hardest of taskmasters, Roy Keane, who said after the game (via The Mirror):
‘He is very good technically and he likes to dictate the play.
‘Tough game for him today, but this game is good for those young players to experience playing against these top players like Liverpool, it is a great way to learn.’
The Birkenhead-born man’s ability to shine on a big stage against a big club has led to much discussion about whether he is good enough to make the step up to United’s first team this summer.
The Athletic’s Daniel Taylor claims that Garner himself thinks he can, and wants to be given the chance to prove himself.
‘An overhaul of United’s midfield is needed and, ideally, Garner would like to be part of it,’ Taylor writes.
‘The Athletic understands that is very much his ambition.’
The reporter also considers that there is a chance that the midfielder could realise that ambition.
‘Regular Garner-watchers can see a fine all-round player blossoming but also recognise how difficult it is for any player to break into the side at a club of United’s stature and stay there,’ he notes.
‘For now, however, it is all hypothetical other than to say a player of his age and potential, capped at every level from under-17s to under-21s, is making a similar kind of contribution for Forest that Mason Mount once did for Derby, while on loan from Chelsea.’