This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Wigan Athletic have set their sights on Manchester United youngster James Garner in the January transfer window as a potential loan signing, but face competition from Preston and Sunderland in the race to sign the talented youngster, according to a report in The Sun.
The 18-year-old is highly regarded by his manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and so will not be allowed to leave on a permanent deal, but he may be allowed out on loan in the New Year to gain valuable experience and game-time.
So would Garner be a good addition at the DW Stadium?
“This would be a very good signing. Garner would provide some much-needed depth to Wigan’s midfield and would add a bit of fresh impetus on the ball to the side.
“Garner has shown great promise for Manchester United this season, following a steady performance in the Europa League on Thursday night away at Partizan Belgrade.
“The young midfielder operated in a midfield-four and sat alongside Scott McTominay, protecting the back three very well and keeping possession for the away side.
“While Garner may be inexperienced, this signing presents a good opportunity for both parties because he is very highly rated at Man United and WIgan have a solid track record of playing youngsters.”
“Garner is a promising young player and he obviously has a lot of potential – he wouldn’t be at a big club like Manchester United unless they thought he could become a top player.
“Even though Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has shown that he’s prepared to give young players a chance in the first team at Old Trafford, Garner clearly isn’t going to get an opportunity any time soon, so it makes sense for him to go out on loan and try to find regular first team football.
“He could be a decent signing for Wigan, although I’m not sure he’d get that many opportunities in the first team. He’s never been out on loan before and he doesn’t have any experience in the Championship.
“He’s obviously got a lot of potential, but he’d need to do well to adapt to the challenges that come with playing at that level.”
Would James Garner of Manchester United be a good signing for Wigan?
“Given Wigan have a relatively restricted budget in comparison with some of the rest of the teams in the Championship, their best bet in the transfer market is to look for promising young players with a hunger to prove their worth, and Garner is certainly a player that fits that bill.
“Garner is getting a growing reputation at Old Trafford, and offers excellent work rate and a brilliant range of passing from midfield, which are qualities Wigan could certainly benefit from if he were to arrive at the DW Stadium in January.
“Paul Cook’s side had great success with another promising young player joining from a top six Premier League club last season, with Reece James excelling in his loan spell during the second half of the campaign, so the Latics would be hopeful of repeating the trick with Garner.
“Wigan have at times this season been guilty of not being able to create enough through midfield, especially away from home, which is something that Garner might be able to help improve if he does arrive in January, so it would seem like a very sensible move for Cook’s side to make.”