Martin Keown tells Man Utd to recall James Garner after FA Cup heroics


Martin Keown tells Manchester United to recall James Garner

The 20-year-old played a key role as Nottingham Forest stunned Leicester (Pictures: Getty)

Martin Keown has hailed Manchester United loanee James Garner after his display for Nottingham Forest against Leicester City and believes he is good enough to be playing at Old Trafford.

The Championship outfit stunned the FA Cup holders on Sunday evening, bagging three quick-fire goals in a blistering first-half display and continuing their dominance in the second half to win 4-1.

Garner played a pivotal role, launching the break that set up Forest’s opener with a superb, ranging pass and then assisting his side’s third goal with a brilliant, pin-point corner onto the head of Joe Worrall.

Martin Keown tells Manchester United to recall James Garner

Garner, left, gave an excellent display against Leicester (Picture: Getty)

The 20-year-old’s set-pieces were a threat throughout the match and stand in stark contrast to his parent club, who have struggled massively from dead-ball situations this season.

Incredibly, United have scored just one set-piece goal all season in the Premier League – the worst record of any side in the top flight – and have not netted from a corner at all, with Garner now having assisted more goals from corners against Premier League opposition than any United player this season.

Keown was massively impressed with the youngster’s display – describing him as a ‘really creative player’ with ‘good technique’ – and feels United should be planning to reintegrate him into the first-team squad.

Speaking while on commentary duty for BBC Sport, Keown said: ‘Again, set-piece, the ball in from Garner is an absolute beauty, look at the whip on that.

‘You can’t underestimate the quality that Garner is putting into this box. He’s on loan from Manchester United – they need to be thinking about getting him back there quickly!’

Manchester United midfielder James Garner

Garner has struggled for opportunities at Old Trafford (Picture: Getty)

Asked if United fans should be encouraged by Garner, Keown added: ‘I do. I like the way he’s developing, growing as a player. Second year here on loan, you can see the development. He’s certainly playing with a lot more confidence right now.’

Garner was highly rated by axed United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who said of the youngster in 2019 after his debut: ‘I believe he’s got the chance to have a great future. He knows we believe in him, we’ve got great faith in him as the next Michael Carrick.

‘I know he’s young and I know it’s not fair on kids to compare to great players like Michael was, but he’s the same mould, he plays simple passes, plays through the lines.’


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