Legend is an overused word in football. The true meaning can really be applied to Alex Stepney, goalkeeper of Manchester United’s 1968 European Cup winning team.

Stepney’s views on football should carry more weight than most, and his praise of youngster James Garner should not go unnoticed.

Cardiff City v Nottingham Forest - Sky Bet Championship
(Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images)

Stepney says he is very impressed with the way Garner has adapted to his latest loan spell at Nottingham Forest. The 20-year-old midfielder scored Forest’s winning goal at the weekend in an away victory over Cardiff.

Garner’s performances at Forest have won him rave reviews this year.

The strike against Cardiff was his second goal for the club, and he is beginning to really excel, with his confidence sky high.

Garner created two chances in the win, had three shots at goal, while making three interceptions and winning three aerial duels.

It was a complete midfield performance, and his form is providing some hope that he may be able to kick on for United next season.

What United choose to with Garner is yet unclear, but it makes sense for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the coaching staff to take a close look at him first hand in pre-season.


Garner has now made 24 Championship starts combined for Watford and Nottingham Forest and 34 total appearances in all competitions.

In demand

Garner’s performances have drawn attention, and his agent Steven Beck told Stretty News that Scottish side Rangers are keen on a possible loan deal next season.

A move there would give Garner a chance to play European football, and it could be an attractive option if United don’t have a place for him in the first team next season.

However, given the performances Nemanja Matic and Fred have served up this season, there is a good chance Garner could displace one of them next season.

Much will depend on who United sign in the summer, and whether Paul Pogba stays or goes.

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