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…
Manchester United midfielder James Garner does not look likely to be short of suitors this summer.
The 20-year-old has turned heads during his loan spell with Nottingham Forest and his agent revealed recently that Brighton, Norwich City, and Rangers are among the clubs to enquire.
But what would his best next step be?
We asked our FLW writers…
James Garner is a quality young player and it’s no surprise that Nottingham Forest will be keen to sign him again next term, but I think his Championship days are coming to an end.
The midfielder has real technical quality and I think the next step for him will be to challenge himself in the Premier League.
Rangers would be a good next step as he would play Champions League football, but in an ideal world, I think Man United will want him in the English top flight.
Norwich City and Brighton would be excellent fits for the player and so it’ll be very interesting to see where he ends up.
With potential like his, Garner could be set for a career at the top of the game and so it’s crucial that the next step is correct for him.
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Personally, I could see Norwich being a good destination for Garner for next season.
The midfielder has been hugely impressive since making his move to Nottingham Forest in the January window, and so therefore may be tempted to try and make the step up to the Premier League next season.
Should he do that, then with Alex Tettey and Mario Vrancic out of contract and Oliver Skipp’s loan from Tottenham set to expire at the end of this season, Norwich are a club who look like they could need some more central midfielders this summer, suggesting Garner could get a decent amount of game time at Carrow Road.
Add to that the success they have had with Skipp this season, and it does seem as though Norwich could be a useful move for his development, meaning this is perhaps the move I would be most interested in if I was Garner.
I would like to see him back at Nottingham Forest, to be honest, he’s a classy player at this level but I think he’s ready for the step up to the Premier League on his recent showings and I believe he’d fit in very well at Norwich.
Daniel Farke’s engine room needs a bit of a rebuild – the likes of Alex Tettey and Mario Vrancic probably aren’t Premier League quality now and their ever-present Tottenham loanee Oliver Skipp may end up not coming back to Carrow Road in favour of fighting for a first-team place at Spurs.
So Norwich will need more competition in that midfield and Garner could slot in perfectly for Skipp – he’s no carbon copy and he’s a lot more forward-thinking but he’s definitely got the same level of talent.
I think Brighton have a little bit too much competition in the middle of the park for Garner to fully establish himself as a regular, although Graham Potter’s style would suit him well, whereas Rangers also have a wealth of midfield talent and even though the experience of European football would be good for Garner at such a young age, I can see him just staying in England and getting a chance in the Premier League.