Nottingham Forest manager Chris Hughton has suggested that the Reds have a strong relationship with Manchester United but that he does not know whether the club would be able to re-sign James Garner again in the summer.
Garner has been a revelation at the City Ground since arriving on loan from Manchester United in the January window, with the midfielder slotting straight into the side and playing with real maturity and confidence to get on the ball and make things happen. The 20-year-old has so far managed to impress far more with Forest than he had been able to at Watford earlier in the campaign.
Hughton’s side were given another firm reminder as to Garner’s quality on Saturday, with the midfielder delivering an excellent performance for them during their 1-1 draw at automatic promotion-chasing Brentford. He managed to complete two successful dribbles, have a passing accuracy of 83% and also make three tackles and two clearances (Sofascore). That shows he was everywhere for the Reds.
Speaking to Nottinghamshire Live following the draw at Brentford, Hughton was quizzed on whether the club could re-sign Garner in the summer following his impressive recent form. He suggested that whilst the club have a good relationship with his parent club, he could not really comment on whether he would be allowed out on loan to them again next term.
He said: “We’re very grateful to Manchester United for his services and we’ve got a good relationship with them.
“We’re keeping him (Garner) very much on top of his physical stats, so it’s difficult to talk about next season because he’s not our player.
“The only thing I can say is that we are really delighted with him, not just about his contribution, but how we settled in as a young lad because it can very difficult at that age.”
Keeping Garner at the club would obviously be a huge thing for Forest as they aim to make improvements and kick on under Hughton in the Championship next term after a difficult season. The midfielder is going to be very difficult to replace when he leaves in the summer with his quality having been crucial for the Reds so far since his January arrival.
Garner is the sort of player that looks at home at the City Ground and he has a natural calmness in possession that helps him to dictate the play for the Reds at times, whilst also having the ability to provide strong defensive cover in the middle of the park.
Hughton would likely be wanting to secure his services for another season and it is a positive sign that the club have a good relationship with Manchester United. The Red Devils will likely have been impressed with the midfielder’s progress at Forest following his Watford loan spell and they might feel it would be good for him to spend a full term at the City Ground.