‘Different class’ – James Garner stuns Forest fans with top FA Cup display

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James Garner playing for Nottingham Forest in the Championship. City Ground. December 2021.

Manchester United loanee James Garner enhanced his burgeoning reputation during Nottingham Forest’s 4-1 win over Leicester City.

Garner came through United’s academy and made his first-team debut at the age of 17 in a 3-1 win at Crystal Palace in February 2019

The midfielder was once compared to United legend Michael Carrick by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and is very highly rated at Old Trafford.

“I always thought he is one of the players who, if he keeps going and keeps improving, in the way he was doing in the academy, he can be a very, very good midfielder,” Juan Mata said in November 2020.

“I really like him; the way he plays on the ball, his cleverness, his way of looking forward, looking for a pass and also his attitude off the ball. So, whenever he was here, I always tried to encourage him and said what I believed he could be as a player.”

After a difficult stint at Watford at the start of 2020-21, he’s spent the last year at Nottingham Forest and has gone from strength to strength at the City Ground.

The 20-year-old recently helped Forest beat Arsenal in the FA Cup third round and was named in the starting XI for the fourth round game against Leicester City.

Despite playing against the likes of Wilfred Ndidi, Youri Tielemans and James Maddison, he produced a brilliant display in the middle of the park.

Garner recorded an 83% pass accuracy, won 100% of his tackles, made seven ball recoveries and set up Forest’s third goal with a brilliant corner.

“Again, set-piece, the ball in from Garner is an absolute beauty, look at the whip on that,” former Arsenal defender Martin Keown said while on commentary duty for BBC Sport.

“You can’t underestimate the quality that Garner is putting into this box. He’s on loan from Manchester United – they need to be thinking about getting him back there quickly!”

We’ve rounded up a number of tweets from Forest fans that were impressed by his display.


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