Transfer news: Garner moves on

Thursday 01 September 2022 22:15

Manchester United can confirm that James Garner has departed the club and joined Everton on a permanent transfer.

The midfielder, who has been capped seven times by England’s Under-21s, first joined United as an eight-year-old, in 2009.

After rising up the ranks he broke through at Under-18s level towards the end of the 2016/17 campaign and was a regular in the side the following season, as the young Reds won the Premier League North title.

James's performances convinced first-team manager Jose Mourinho to include him on the summer tour of the United States in 2018 but it was under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer that he would make his professional debut at Crystal Palace in February 2019.

Garner made seven competitive appearances for United's first team.

One of a handful of Reds to play in the Premier League at the age of 17, Garner signed a new deal and continued his development in 2019/20 after another summer tour, during which he scored against rivals Leeds United.

He managed six first-team appearances that season, four of them coming in Europe, while a string of excellent performances for Neil Wood’s Under-23s ensured he was a deserved winner of the Denzil Haroun Reserve Team Player of the Year award, sharing space on the trophy with the likes of Nicky Butt, John O'Shea and Darren Fletcher.

James gained valuable experience on loan in the Championship with Watford and then Nottingham Forest during 2020/21 and, after proving popular with the Forest fans, he returned for a second spell at the City Ground the following season.

He became a fulcrum of Steve Cooper’s side and, despite a faltering start, the Tricky Trees quickly powered up the league and eventually secured promotion back to the Premier League for the first time in 23 years, through the play-offs.

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Garner also caught the eye with his performances in the Emirates FA Cup, with Forest knocking out Arsenal and Leicester on their way to the quarter-finals.

Eight goals and 10 assists in 69 appearances with the Midlanders ensured there would always be demand for Garner’s signature and, after pre-season appearances against Aston Villa and Rayo Vallecano, he now joins Everton where he will learn from manager Frank Lampard, one of the greats in his position.

We’d like to thank James for his long service with United and wish him the very best of luck during his time at Goodison Park.