Manchester United attacker Juan Mata has given massive praise to young midfielder James Garner, who is currently out on loan at Watford.
A short-term move away from Old Trafford always felt inevitable for Garner this season. Simply put, the Englishman needed regular game time and Watford have provided him with the opportunity to do exactly that.
Garner is enjoying life down South, too, already earning massive plaudits from his manager Vladimir Ivic. The United youngster has made an instant impact for the Championship side who currently sit fifth in the table.
Obviously, the long-term goal for Garner is to force his way into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s plans at Manchester United. We’ve seen the young man in a few match-day squads here or there, but Garner is yet to make that massive breakthrough.
Undoubtedly, the plan is to see how he gets on this season, with a view to promoting him into the first-team for the 2021/22 term.
Now Garner has earned praise from his ‘good friend’ Juan Mata, with the Spaniard admitting he ‘really’ likes the Englishman’s style of play as he looks to make his big breakthrough at United.
Check out what Juan Mata had to say about James Garner here:
“He is a good friend, that’s why he speaks so well of me!” Mata told ManUtd.com. “I always thought he is one of the players who, if he keeps going and keeps improving, in the way he was doing in the Academy, he can be a very, very good midfielder.
“I really like him; the way he plays on the ball, his cleverness, his way of looking forward, looking for a pass and also his attitude off the ball. So, whenever he was here, I always tried to encourage him and said what I believed he could be as a player.
“I always tried to motivate him and give him confidence as I think, when you’re that age, you need confidence and trust – not only from the manager but also from your team-mates.”
“I wish him all the best at Watford and I am sure he will do well,” added Mata. “He’s a great guy and a very good player, as I’ve said before, because he keeps improving every day.“
I always feel like it’d mean more when it comes from a fellow professional, particularly someone as gifted as Mata.
Garner is developing nicely. Sure, he probably would have preferred to be playing in the Reds first-team already, but midfield is where United are pretty well-stacked.
Solskjaer will be keenly watching on, no doubt he has been impressed by Garner’s start to the season, too. For anyone who watched U23s football last term, you’ll know Garner is quality. He’s way too good for reserve-team football and this move will definitely be the making of him.
Hopefully, the young man can continue to play well and return to Manchester with confidence galore. If we get a pre-season next summer, that’s where Garner will likely get his first big chance.