Everton midfielder James Garner has stated that he has silenced those who doubted him at Manchester United and he harbours no regrets whatsoever about his decision to leave the Red Devils.
Garner had been with United since the age of seven but after a conversation with Erik ten Hag, a decision was made to part ways with the club and complete a transfer to Goodison Park.
Everton forked out £15million to secure Garner’s services in 2022.
He has been a revelation at the Merseyside outfit, especially under the stewardship of Sean Dyche.
Garner is undeniably one of the first names on the team sheet and he is now showing his abilities and why United were wrong not to give him an opportunity to prove himself.
The 22-year-old has made 24 appearances this term across all competitions and registered two goals and one assist.
Garner spoke to The Telegraph and opened up on his Everton progress and exit from United. He said, “When they start signing three, four midfielders you kind of understand your place. It was a decision that I wanted to make.”
“I still live in Manchester so obviously you bump into the odd person. Fans being fans they always give you their little comments and stuff. But look, I’m happy where I am now, yeah.”
“It’s always a tough decision [to leave] when you’re coming from a club that is deemed one of the best in the world. It was a big decision but one I knew was right.”
The Everton star added, “I feel like I’ve proven it to those who didn’t believe me over that side, but more importantly I’ve proven to myself that I can play in a Premier League side week in, week out.”
He told The Telegraph that what matters to him most is the opinions of his family and loved ones as opposed to the critics who thought he didn’t have the talent to play for United.
Garner admitted that he also doubted himself and his abilities at one point but at the moment, he is flying at the top level.
“I feel like I’ve proven it to those who didn’t believe me over that side, but more importantly I’ve proven to myself that I can play in a Premier League side week in, week out.”
He further remarked on his Old Trafford departure, “Some people might have thought it was the wrong [decision] at the time but I knew it was the right one because I didn’t want to stagnate when I’d just had such a good season [with Nottingham Forest]. I wanted to go out and prove to everyone and prove to myself that I can play at the top level.”
When asked whether anyone at United tried to convince him to stay, Garner pointed out that no one necessarily reached out to him. However, he indicated that he had a conversation with Ten Hag, where it was made clear he wouldn’t play significant minutes.
Ultimately, that revelation from the manager motivated his decision to seek a fresh challenge.