Nottingham Forest are set to bring James Garner back to the club on a season-long loan from Manchester United.
The midfielder spent the second half of the previous campaign at the City Ground, impressing for Chris Hughton’s side. Therefore, bringing him back to the club was seen as a priority this summer.
However, a deal was never going to be straightforward, with plenty of rival interest in the 20-year-old. But, reporter Daniel Taylor confirmed today that Forest are going to win the race for Garner, who is expected to be announced as a Forest player over the weekend.
So, how important is this for Hughton considering his side have endured a tough start to the campaign? Here our writers share their thoughts…
This is a massive coup for Forest and a big boost which everyone at the club needs.
Garner was tremendous in the second half of last season, and his performances have seen him catch the eye of plenty of sides.
They have missed his creativity and guile in the middle of the park, and they have badly missed a progressive midfield who can play through the lines.
Jack Colback and Ryan Yates are fairly solid defensively, but are too much of a muchness and do not progress the ball quickly enough.
Garner has been one of their main targets for the whole summer, so this proves that patience is a virtue.
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This would be a major boost for Nottingham Forest after what has been a very challenging start to the new Championship campaign for the Reds.
James Garner was an excellent performer for Nottingham Forest during his loan spell last season and that has seen him attract the attention of numerous other clubs this summer.
It would have to be considered as a real statement of intent from Forest if they were to reach a deal with Manchester United and also highlight that the Premier League giants have faith in them over his development.
Chris Hughton needs someone fresh added to the team who can help to lift morale around the dressing room after the Reds have suffered three straight league defeats this season.
Garner provided that sort of impact last January and he would likely do exactly the same this time around. This signing would mean that Hughton needs to start getting results very swiftly because he appears to be being backed with the right signings by the board if they pull this deal off.
After losing their opening three Championship games, it’s clear they need an alternative to Jack Colback and Ryan Yates at the heart of midfield. And Garner could be a game-changer for the East Midlands in that respect.
The exciting 21-year-old is attracting widespread interest in the second tier for a reason and to beat the likes of Sheffield United and arch-rivals Derby County to this signing would be a major morale booster for Forest. It’s the type of signing that could boost the whole club and that’s exactly what they need right now.
Moving on to what he would bring to the team, the shield he could offer in front of the back four will be vital in Joe Worrall’s absence and if their start to the campaign is anything to go by, they have desperately missed the 24-year-old at the heart of defence.
Going forward, he would also offer a set-piece threat. We’ve already seen Darnell Furlong with his long throws at West Brom, Garner on free-kicks would be a similarly daunting prospect for the opposition, so he’s definitely someone they go the extra mile for in their bid to secure his services.
It could just help to turn around their fortunes this season.