Manchester United’s season began with a disheartening defeat at home to Brighton. The loss was widely pinned on the club’s under performing midfield duo of Fred and Scott McTominay.
McTominay’s performance was particularly putrid. This led to United making an SOS call to Juventus to try and do a deal for Adrien Rabiot. This is progressing, but won’t be done in time for Saturday’s game.
United need to mix it up this weekend. We can’t have both of ‘McFred’ sent out there again. Options are limited. It’s either Donny van de Beek or James Garner.
Bringing in James Garner is a particularly intriguing option. On the bench last weekend, he has been waiting for his chance to start a Premier League game for Manchester United.
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Injury meant Garner only started one pre-season game and was never really in contention for the opening league game.
Now with an extra week of fitness work under his belt, Garner should come into serious consideration to get the nod this weekend, probably alongside Fred instead of McTominay.
Garner has attributes to make him a better rounded player than the Scot. He has a wide array of passing in his locker and can take set pieces.
He is also able to cope with the physical demands of first team football after spending two seasons in the Championship.
Most exciting of all is mindset. Garner will be more determined than ever to seize his chance and has youthful enthusiasm which a worn down and under pressure McTominay can’t bring to the table.
It’s important Garner gets a chance this weekend. If it doesn’t work out, then at least United have tried something different, rather than the same tired combination which has been proven doesn’t work.
The timing is crucial, as Garner needs chances before additional midfielders are brought in and block his place in the queue.
With his pre-season injury a blow, Garner has had a slice of good luck that Manchester United are so inept in the transfer market and haven’t signed a player yet. But this only matters if he is actually given a chance.
There is still a chance Garner is overlooked this weekend, new signings arrive, and then he is forced to head out on loan to get a first team look-in.
Garner is good enough to contribute now, and it’s important he gets his opportunity. If he does, this weekend could be a career changing moment.
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