Rio Ferdinand believes James Garner will be expecting to have a place in the Manchester United first-team squad next season.
The 20-year-old has impressed playing under Steve Cooper during his season-long loan at Nottingham Forest.
The Manchester United academy graduate has become a driving force in the City Ground side’s promotion push to the Premier League.
In the latest FIVE podcast, Ferdinand was asked whether he sees any similarities in Garner’s progression to his England under-21 international teammate Connor Gallagher, for which the former Manchester United centre-back responded ‘yes’.
The Chelsea loanee is Crystal Palace’s top goalscorer this season alongside Wilfred Zaha with eight goals.
Similar to Garner, Gallagher had loan spells in the Championship before making the move up to the Premier League via season-long loans at West Brown and now Palace.
Speaking on Garner, Ferdinand said: “I think Garner definitely goes back and says ‘what’s happening, am I going to be involved in the first team squad to get a chance or not’.
“If not then I’m going to go, if I am then give me a chance.”
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With Manchester United facing a possible upheaval in the midfield department during the summer transfer window, Garner could have a chance to stake his claim.
With Paul Pogba set to leave on a free transfer and uncertainty surrounding the futures of Donny van de Beek and Nemanja Matic, Garner could return to Carrington for pre-season with an opportunity beckoning.
The Red Devils will likely go big in the transfer market, but with a new manager at the helm, Garner could grasp his potential opening.
However, just like Ferdinand has mentioned if new midfielders are brought to the club and Garner is told he’s going to get very little game time at first-team level, a Premier League loan move should be explored.
James Garner has impressed at Championship level, but the next step in his development is to get regular first team football in the Premier League similar to his international teammate Gallagher.
Whether that is at Old Trafford or not next season remains to be seen.
One man that Garner can take inspiration from is fellow United academy graduate Anthony Elanga.
The Swedish under-21 international has shown under interim boss Ralf Rangnick that if you impress in training and grasp your opportunity when presented, a place in the first team can open up.
Garner will be hoping to follow in Elanga’s footsteps at the Theatre of Dreams next season.