Manchester United’s midfield situation has been clouded by Paul Pogba’s uncertain situation for a while now. The Mirror‘s report that the Frenchman has rejected a new contract places added focus on United’s next move.
It is likely Pogba ends up being sold, and then United have to figure out how to replace him. It may not be a job which a singular player can do.
Young talent James Garner will feel he has a shot to show he can be part of the puzzle.
The 20-year-old has been training with the first team this summer and had a solid first pre-season game last week. Another chance awaits this weekend, and there are three more matches after that.
Garner’s situation is unclear heading into the season. He could go out on loan again, or he could be kept with the aim of playing 20-25 first team matches.
Pogba’s potential departure enhances his chance of game time if he stays at United. But there are no guarantees.
United were already rumoured to be looking at midfield signings before Pogba’s situation was inflamed once again. His potential departure amid interest from PSG [L’Equipe] makes it even more likely United make additions.
How many incomings?
How United replace Paul Pogba in the transfer market will determine James Garner’s short-term future and even his long-term one.
One option available to United is to make a double swoop for two available midfielders, Eduardo Camavinga and Ruben Neves. Both are available for a combined £60 million.
But a double move would be bad news for Garner. He has a chance this summer to show he can and should be the ‘second player’ as part of the mix.
This would enable United to spend a higher fee on a singular transfer target. This might be a specialist defensive midfielder like Declan Rice, or a box to box player like Youri Tielemans.
Garner, 20, could surprise a few people if given a chance this season, and while it is unfair pressure to ask him to replace Paul Pogba, he can be part of the midfield solution. He just has to fight over the upcoming fortnight to show it.
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