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…
Swansea City will be aiming to make a couple more additions to their squad over the next few weeks as they aim to get prepared for the start of another Championship campaign.
Steve Cooper’s side are having to go again next term following their play-off final loss against Brentford last season, and they have also lost key players from within their squad that got them into a position where they were just 90 minutes from the Premier League.
The Swans are now being linked with a potential move for Manchester United’s talented midfielder James Garner, with journalist Jonathan Shrager reporting that Swansea are ‘very keen’ on the 20-year-old as they aim to further strengthen their squad.
It is believed that Nottingham Forest are also interested in the midfielder but that Manchester United are going to take their time over a decision on his future.
So with Swansea having joined the race for Garner this summer, we asked our FLW writers whether he would be the right addition to make to the squad…
With James Garner’s promotion-winning experience at Watford last season, this would be a fantastic signing for Steve Cooper’s side who will be desperate to reach the Premier League at his third attempt.
The Manchester United midfielder wasn’t just a bit-part player for the Hornets either, he made 40 appearances as they gained automatic promotion to the top flight and with Matt Grimes being linked with a move away, a cheap loan move for a top-quality replacement would be ideal for the Swans.
They may want to recruit a permanent replacement if Grimes leaves but for now, Garner would be more than sufficient as a short-term replacement and with some of Ole Gunnar Solskjear’s key players set to return from the Euros soon, it’s a deal they could potentially get done quite quickly.
Manchester United fans have been frustrated by seeing the likes of Fred and Scott McTominay in midfield in the past season.
And with Donny van de Beek potentially moving on after not getting any game time at Old Trafford and Nemanja Matic not getting any younger, Garner could potentially force his way into United’s first-team squad in the next couple of years.
So he will have a point to prove at Swansea if he joins and that can only be a good thing.
The expiration of Conor Hourihane and Morgan Gibbs-White’s loan deals also made this a position Steve Cooper needs to address this summer.
The higher or lower Swansea City transfer fee quiz – can you get 20/20?
With Matt Grimes linked with a move away from Swansea this summer, I think Garner could be a perfect potential replacement – although there’s every chance he could play next to him instead.
I honestly thought Garner may be heading to the Premier League this season, with his agent revealing at the end of last season that the likes of Norwich and Brighton were watching him – the former of course signing Billy Gilmour from Chelsea so that rules them out of the Garner chase.
Considering how he flourished at Nottingham Forest in the second half of the 2020-21 campaign, you’d have thought that Manchester United’s first option for Garner next season would be for him to return to the City Ground and watch him thrive.
But the fact that Steve Cooper has a great track record of developing youngsters – especially ones on loan from Premier League clubs – could swing the pendulum in Swansea’s favour and considering the progress the club have made in the last two years, Garner would be playing in what you’d imagine to be a promotion-chasing team.
It would be a brilliant coup for the Welsh side if they were to seal Garner’s signing, however I don’t think it will be easy to do.
I’d be surprised if Garner dropped back down to the Championship, and if he did, I imagine it would be with Forest.