James Garner continues to look like the pick of Manchester United’s young players hoping to make it out on loan.
Garner was given one of the toughest tasks; to hit the ground running for a team aiming to win Championship promotion.
The youngster has done exactly that. He made his 12th league appearance at the weekend as Watford beat Preston 4-1.
Garner had 76 touches in his 86 minutes on the pitch, completing 91 per cent of his passes.
Garner won one tackle, one interception, blocked one shot, and made two clearances, while attempting three shots at goal.
He is already winning over the Watford fans and has helped the Hornets up to third in the Championship table.
Local newspaper the Watford Observer graded Garner’s performance at a 7.5/10, noting: “Creative going forward and his set pieces were excellent. A forward-thinking display.”
His success should not come as a surprise
Garner is a young player United have particularly high hopes for, and with good reason.
The 19-year-old made a strong impression in the Europa League last season when called upon, with a particularly good performance away to Partizan Belgrade.
That showed he had the mentality to adapt and rise to the occasion and it should be no surprise he has swiftly taken to Championship football.
The best is yet to come too. Garner was a regular goalscorer for the under-23s last season and provided two assists in his one game this campaign in the EFL Trophy.
He is yet to score for Watford and has just one assist. It’s only a matter of time before these numbers improve as he grows in confidence and is asked by his manager to do more.
Garner will return to United a better player next season, possibly ready to compete for a first team place. He is picking up invaluable experience.
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