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James Garner – his future at Manchester United looks promising

James Garner will have been watched by many Manchester United supporters over the years based on what he has been doing at U18 and U23 level for the club. During his time at United, prior to his loan spell with Championship club Watford, which commenced at the start of the season, Garner has made 36 appearances, scoring four goals and five assists at U18 level, 13 appearances, scoring one goal and two assists at U19 level and 26 appearances, scoring nine goals and four assist at U23 level. Garner has also made seven appearances for the first team but has not scored or assisted any goals. It is well known that the future of the midfielder at United is positive and he is highly rated amongst the coaches and his peers.

Garner made 21 appearances at Watford, 20 in the Championship and one appearance in the Carabao Cup. He did not score a single goal but got an assist against Coventry City on the 7 November 2020. Garner, now 20, played a total of 1,219 minutes of football at Watford but during January 2021, he was playing a bit part role at the club and needed a bigger challenge. His loan spell was terminated and he was loaned to Nottingham Forest, who were also playing in the Championship. It was suggested that he would have a better challenge and would play more football. They were right. He made a total of 20 appearances for the club in the Championship, scoring four goals, no assists and playing 1,700 minutes of football.

An heir to Paul Scholes?

Garner has been known to score some great goals based on his time at United and that was not that much different at Forest. The club finished 17th in the Championship this season, amassing 52 points in total, finishing above rivals Derby County, manager by Wayne Rooney, who avoided relegation on the final day of the season. Garner’s last goal for the club came against Preston North End, which was their final match of the season, in which they lost 2-1. It was a stunning finish, as you can see in Forest’s highlights from the match (above). It has been rumoured that Garner could be loaned out again by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer next season with suggestions of the player going out to a Premier League side towards the bottom of the table.

I feel this would be good for him and give him the experience of playing in the league at a greater scale that he already has at United. I am sure his performances for Forest will not have gone unnoticed this season and there could be a few clubs in with a chance of signing him for the 2021/22 season. United would need to ensure he’s not a player that will be left on the bench and will play a competitive number of matches, as otherwise there would be no point in loaning him out if he’s going to be a player that may only be used to cover injuries or something similar. Garner is a class act and has proven that in the Championship. I would like to see him eventually play for United as a first team player as he excites me in the way Paul Scholes did.

The future looks bright for James Garner…

Many United supporters would have had high hopes for Garner when he was loaned to Watford at the start ion the 2020/21 season but it did not work out for him there. Moving to Forest in January 2021 was a much better move for him as he eased himself into the squad and performed well for the club, scoring four goals during the course of the second half of the season. He has come a long way and perhaps needs another season on loan with a lower level Premier League club to get him more first team experience in the top flight of English football. Garner is clearly the future for United and has all the ingredients in order to get there. After his loan spell at Forest, Garner spoke to the official Manchester United website, talking about making the first team, saying:

“I’ve been working hard, physically and mentally, and it’s something I’m trying to add into my game. Hopefully, when I come back at the end of the season, I’ll sit down with the coaches and see what’s best for me and what’s going to be best for my development. I’ll take it from there really.

“I think that’s ultimately the dream [playing for the first team]. I’ve been at the club since seven or eight and the main focus is to be in the first team and do whatever takes to be with the first team.

“Like I’ve said, I’ll just keep working hard, keep my head down and have to see what is going to be best for my development. But, ultimately, my dream is to be with the first team and play for United.”

Written by Dave Preston

Loan Watch: Dalot scores goal and assist, Garner and Levitt frustration, debuts for Pereira and Bernard

Manchester United have twelve players on loan so far during the 2020/21 season; Tahith Chong, 20, at Werder Bremen, Matej Kovar, 20 at Swindon Town, Dylan Levitt, 19, at Charlton Athletic, Joel Pereira, 24, at Huddersfield Town, Aliou Traore, 19, at Stade Malherbe Caen, James Garner, 19, at Watford, Andreas Pereira, 24, at Lazio, Diogo Dalot, 21, at AC Milan, Max Taylor, 20, at Kidderminster Harriers, Di’Shon Bernard, 20, at Salford City, Max Haygarth, 18, at Brentford B and Jacob Carney, 19, at Brighouse Town. Many of the players on loan will be seeking to impress their loan clubs and United, seeking to find a way into first team football as soon as they can.

Tahith Chong

Last Match: Werder Bremen 1-1 TSG 1899 Hoffenheim – Bundesliga

Tahith Chong, 20, came off the bench in the 87th minute, replacing the injured Yuya Osako in the 1-1 draw with Hoffenheim on Sunday. Chong has not really had many minutes so far this season, starting just one match this season, which was the 4-1 defeat to Hertha Berlin in the Bundesliga, coming off the bench four times. Chong has played a total of 128 minutes of football this season, playing in the Bundesliga and the DFB-Pokal. He has scored one competitive goal in the German Cup competition and probably needs to so a lot more to get back in contention to start matches, which does not look good for him at this stage of the season.

Next Match: Eintracht Frankfurt (A) – 31 October – Bundesliga

Matej Kovar

Last Match: Northampton Town 2-1 Swindon Town – League One

Matej Kovar, 20, played another 90 minutes on Tuesday evening in the 2-1 defeat to Northampton Town in League One. Kovar saw himself conceded a further two goals for the club this season, conceding a total of 19 goals fo far this season. He will be hoping that the visit to the Kassam Stadium on Oxford this weekend will deliver an upturn in the clubs form. Swindon’s next two matches against Oxford United at the Kassam Stadium and Accrington Stanley at the County Ground were suspended following recent positive COVID-19 tests at the club with players and staff needing to self isolate as per the EFL and Government guidance.

Next Match: Hull City (H) – 31 October – League One

Dylan Levitt

Last Match: Charlton Athletic 2-0 Oxford United – League One

Dylan Levitt, 19, was an unused substitute in the 1-0 victory over Blackbool in League One on Tuesday evening. Both teams were reduced to ten-men in the match with Blackpool’s James Husband sent off in the second minute and Charlton’s Ben Purrington sent off for a second bookable offence in the 39th minute of the match. Levitt then started in the 2-0 victory over Northampton Town last Saturday but was taken off at half time with Darren Prattley, who replaced Levitt scoring the opening goal of the match. Levitt was then an unused substitute in the 2-0 victory over Oxford United, a match in which Ryan Inniss was send off in the 66th minute.

Next Match: Portsmouth (A) – 31 October – League One

Joel Pereira

Last Match: Huddersfield Town 0-0 Preston North End – Championship

Joel Pereira, 24, was once again an unused substitute in the 1-0 home victory over Derby County in the Championship last Tuesday evening, the 2-1 defeat to Preston North End in the Championship on Saturday and the 2-1 defeat to Birmingham City in the Championship on Wednesday evening. It does not seem like the player is going to get many opportunities at Huddersfield this season, having been on the bench for the last nine matches without a hint of action. It really does not look good for Pereira this season, especially with the expire of his contract at United coming at the end of the 2020/21 season. It seems unlikely that United will extend.

Next Match: Millwall (A) – 31 October – Championship

Aliou Traore

Last Match: Stade Malherbe Caen 1-0 En Avant de Guingamp – Ligue 2

Aliou Traore, 19, came off the bench for Caen in their 1-0 victory over Guingamp on Saturday. He has spent the past six weeks out go action through illness, playing for the youth team earlier this month. Traore came off the bench in the 71st minute of the match, replacing Kelian Nsona. The winner came in the 90th minute through substitute Jessy Deminguet, who had been on the pitch for four minutes, assisted by Yoann Court. Traore will be seeking to get back into a starting position for his club, starting with this weekend’s clash with Paris FC, which could help him work out where his career is going to go from the end of the season.

Next Match: Paris FC (A) – 31 October – Ligue 2

James Garner

Last Match: Wycombe Wanderers 1-1 Watford – Championship

James Garner, 19, started in the 1-1 draw with Bournemouth in the Championship on Saturday but was substituted by Étienne Capoue at the start of the second half after a mixed half for Watford. Stipe Perica, assisted by Ismaïla Sarr opened the scoring in the 12th minute of the match with Bournemouth equalising in added time. Garner then came off the bench, replacing Tom Cleverley at the death in the 1-1 draw with Wycombe Wanderers on Tuesday evening. Sarr opened the scoring in the 52nd minute of the match with Wycombe equalising 14 minutes later. It has been a tough week for Garner, who could be looking to start against Barnsley.

Next Match: Barnsley (A) – 31 October – Championship

Andreas Pereira

Last Match: Clube Brugge KV 1-1 Lazio – UEFA Champions League

Andreas Pereira, 24, missed the 3-1 UEFA Champions League victory over Borussia Dortmund through injury last Tuesday evening. Pereira then made his debut, from the bench, replacing Luis Alberto at the start of the second half in the 2-1 victory over Bologna. Alberto scored the opening goal in the 54th minute with Ciro Immobile doubling the lead in the 76th minute. Lorenzo De Silvestri scored a consolation in added time. Pereira then made his Champions League debut for Lazio replacing the injured Patric in the 46th minute of the 1-1 draw with Brugge. Lazio opened the scoring in the 14th minute through Joaquín Correa with Brugge equalising in the 42nd.

Next Match: Torino (A) – 1 November – Serie A

Diogo Dalot

Last Match: AC Milan 3-0 Sparta Prague – UEFA Europa League

Diogo Dalot, 21, made his Milan debut last week in a 3-1 victory over Celtic in the Europa League. The 21-year-old started in the competition in his favoured right back position. Dalot played 90 minutes in the victory. He was then an unused substitute in the 3-3 draw with AS Roma in the Serie A. On Thursday evening, Dalot started for Milan in the left-back position in the Europa League against Sparta Prague. Milan won the match 3-0 – it could have been 4-0 had Zlatan Ibrahimovic converted a penalty. Dalot assisted for Rafael Leão’s goal, putting Milan 2-0 up in the 57th minute, scoring a goal himself in the 67th minute of the match to complete the victory.

Next Match: Udinese (A) – 1 November – Serie A

Max Taylor

Last Match: Chorley 0-2 Kidderminster Harriers – National League North

Max Taylor, 20, played 90 minutes in the 2-0 victory over Chorley in the National League North. The defender will be seeking to get his playing career back to full speed after beating testicular cancer last year following nine weeks of chemotherapy. He was given a one-year contract extension at United which will expire at the end of the season but was loaned to Kidderminster until January, giving him first team experience which could allow him to find full fitness and form ahead of returning to United’s U23s, which could in turn see him offered a longer contract at the Old Trafford club. His mettle was tested with cancer so has what it takes to succeed.

Next Match: Blyth Spartans (H) – 31 October – National League North

Di’Shon Bernard

Last Match: Salford City 1-1 Crawley Town – League Two

Di’Shon Bernard, 20, played no involvement in Salford’s 3-0 home victory over Southend United on Tuesday evening. Former United forward James Wilson scored the second goal of the evening for Paul Scholes’ side. He made his debut in the 1-1 draw with Crawley Town, replacing Oscar Threlkeld in the 62nd minute of the match. Former United player James Wilson put Salford ahead five minutes before Bernard was brought on but Crawley equalised in the 72nd minute through George Francomb. Bernard will be seeking to be involved in the clash with Oldham, which was the club that Scholes first managed.

Next Match: Oldham Athletic (A) – 31 October – League Two

Max Haygarth

Last Match: Hendon FC 2-6 Brentford B – London Senior Cup

Max Haygarth, 18, made his debut in the second round of the London Senior Cup in the 6-2 victory over Hendon FC on Tuesday evening at Silver Jubilee Park. Haygarth started the match on the bench and replaced Alex Gilbert in the 78th minute of the match, playing for the remaining twelve minutes of the victory. The 18-year-old will be seeking to play to a good level this season, after his debut with Brentford B, possible taking his experience back to United at the end of his loan spell with the club to hopefully propel himself into regular appearances at the U23 level, seeking to impress his manager and coaches at the club.

Next Match: Aldershot Town (H) – 30 October – Friendly

Jacob Carney

Last Match: Brighouse Town 2-0 Pontefract Collieries – NPL Division One NW

Jacob Carney, 19, made his second start for Brighouse Town on Tuesday evening in their 1-0 defeat to Pickering Town. Carney was named the Man of the Match in the defeat, which is good for the 19-year-old who will be seeking to further his career as a goalkeeper whilst on loan with the club. Carney started the 2-0 victory over Pontefract Collieries in the Northern Premier League Division One. It will be good for him to play first team football at this level, which might be seen as below the standard of U23 football at United, but will help him find his feet in the future, whether his career continues at United or beyond.

Next Match: Buxton FC (H) – 31 October – FA Trophy

Written by John Walker

Loan Watch: Bernard, Haygarth and Carney loaned out – plus see how Chong, Garner, Kovar and Taylor did

Manchester United have twelve players on loan so far during the 2020/21 season; Tahith Chong, 20, at Werder Bremen, Matej Kovar, 20 at Swindon Town, Dylan Levitt, 19, at Charlton Athletic, Joel Pereira, 24, at Huddersfield Town, Aliou Traore, 19, at Stade Malherbe Caen, James Garner, 19, at Watford, Andreas Pereira, 24, at Lazio, Diogo Dalot, 21, at AC Milan, Max Taylor, 20, at Kidderminster Harriers, Di’Shon Bernard, 20, at Salford City, Max Haygarth, 18, at Brentford B and Jacob Carney, 19, at Brighouse Town. Many of the players on loan will be seeking to impress their loan clubs and United, seeking to find a way into first team football as soon as they can.

Tahith Chong

Last Match: SC Freiburg 1-1 Werder Bremen – Bundesliga

Tahith Chong, 20, was an unused substitute in the 1-1 draw to Frieburg on Saturday. The home side took the lead through Philipp Lienhart, assisted by Lucas Höler in the 15th minute of the match. The lead was short-lived with Bremen equalising through Niclas Füllkrug, assisted by Leonardo Bittencourt just ten minutes later. Chong has played just 125 minutes for Bremen so far this season and I get the impression that he will need to do a lot more to get himself into the starting XI on a more consistent basis. Granted, he’s only 20 and has just moved to a different country but I feel that he should be doing more as the bar at United is going to be very high.

Next Match: TSG 1899 Hoffenheim (H) – 25 October – Bundesliga

Matej Kovar

Last Match: Swindon Town 0-2 Sunderland – League One

Matej Kovar, 20, started once against for his loan club in their League One match against Sunderland at the County Ground on Saturday. Charlie Wyke opened the scoring in the 35th minute of the match and the second goal coming from the penalty spot with Chris Maguire converting in the 57th minute of the match. It does not look like it is going to be a good season for Kovar at Swindon with him conceding 17 goals in the matches he has played in this season. Swindon had five defenders on the pitch against Sunderland and still could not find and strength. Hopefully, this will not affect the confidence of the goalkeeper, who has a positive career ahead.

Next Match: Northampton Town (A) – 20 October – League One

Dylan Levitt

Last Match: Charlton Athletic 1-0 Wigan Athletic – League One

Dylan Levitt, 19, was an unused substitute against Wigan Athletic in League One on Saturday afternoon. Jake Forster-Caskey scored the only goal of the game ion the 65th minute of the match from 30-yards, from the free-kick, sneaking it in off the post to take the lead. Levitt has played 251 minutes for Charlton so far this season, playing in the Carabao Cup and the league, seeking more first team football to aid his career. Already a regular starter for Wales under Ryan Giggs, the 19-year-old clearly has something in his locker which could aid him during his career, whether at United or elsewhere, which would be a shame if so.

Next Match: Blackpool (A) – 20 October – League One

Joel Pereira

Last Match: Swansea City 1-2 Huddersfield Town – Championship

Joel Pereira, 24, was an unused substitute once again in the 2-1 victory over Swansea City in the Championship on Saturday afternoon at the Liberty Stadium. Huddersfield took the lead in the 23rd minute of that match through Harry Toffolo, assisted by Juninho Bacuna. The the home side equalised through André Ayew from the penalty spot in the 33rd minute of the match. The away side scored the winner in the 67th minute through Josh Koroma, assisted by Richard Stearman. In the six matches that have been played so far this season, Pereira has not had a look in once and it would seem that this would be likely to continue throughout the season.

Next Match: Derby County (H) – 17 October – Championship

Aliou Traore

Last Match: Chamois Niort 3-0 Stade Malherbe Caen – Ligue 2

Aliou Traore, 19, was once again not involved in the 3-0 defeat to Chamois Niort in Ligue 2 on Saturday. Traore was ill a month ago, playing both first team matches against Clermont Foot, a 0-0 draw and against AC Ajacciom a 1-0 victory, playing 34 minutes between the two matches. He also feature three times for the youth team, playing against FC Rouen 1899, a 1-1 draw, FC Versailles, a 1-0 victory – playing 106 minutes of football before illness. On the 10th October, Traore played for the youth team once again, against Vannes, a 0-0 draw, playing 63 minutes of football. He might have a but more to do to break into the first team once more, now he is better.

Next Match: En Avant de Guingamp (H) – 24 October – Ligue 2

James Garner

Last Match: Derby County 0-1 Watford – Championship

James Garner, 19, started on the bench against Derby County at Pride Park on Friday evening in the Championship. After a tough match between the two sides, Watford scored the only goal of the game in the 76th minute of the match through João Pedro, assisted by Ben Wilmot. It looked as if Garner would not feature for his loan club in that match but in the final minute, he replaced Domingos Quina, playing one minute plus stoppage time in the victory. He came up against former United forward Wayne Rooney, who is the captain for Derby, which would have been good for him. However, it would have been better if he played more football.

Next Match: Blackburn Rovers (H) – 21 October – Championship

Andreas Pereira

Last Match: Sampdoria 3-0 Lazio – Serie A

Andreas Pereira, 24, was not involved in the 3-0 defeat to Sampdoria in Serie A on Saturday afternoon. It was the first match he was eligible to play in following his loan spell commencing at the Italian club. It was expected that he would not feature much for United this season, having had no involvement at the club since last season. To break into the Lazio side, he will need to impress, despite the fact the club has beaten just Cagliari this season, drawing against Inter Milan and losing to Sampdoria and Atalanta. He might play more first team football than he would have at United with so many players that offer so much more than him.

Next Match: Borussia Dortmund (H) – 20 October – UEFA Champions League

Diogo Dalot

Last Match: Inter Milan 1-2 AC Milan – Serie A

Diogo Dalot, 21, was an unused substitute in the 20-1 victory over Inter Milan at the San Siro on Saturday in the Serie A. Former United forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a brace in the 13ht and 16 minutes of the match, his second goal assisted by Rafael Leão. Inter hit back though another former United forward, Romelu Lukaku, assisted by Ivan Perisic in the 29th minute of the match. Dalot will have also seen another United forward, Alexis Sanchez who came on late in the match. Ashley Young was not involved in the match or the reunion. The Portuguese right-back is a future talent by United but his participation might be a minimum in Milan.

Next Match: Celtic (A) – 22 October – UEFA Europa League

Max Taylor

Last Match: Darlington 1-3 Kidderminster Harriers – National League North

Max Taylor, 20, was loaned ot Kidderminster Harriers at the start of October, initially until January. The club have not played since the 10th October as their Vanarama National League North match against Alfreton Town this weekend was postponed. Taylor has made three starts for the club in the 4-2 penalty defeat against Alvechurch in the qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup, where he was booked, the 2-1 defeat to Chester, where he was also booked and the 3-1 victory over Darlington. Taylor might be better off with first team experience this season which might see him earn the experience to break into United’s first tea, next season, maybe?

Next Match: Chorley (A) – 24 October – National League North

Di’Shon Bernard

Last Match: Port Vale 1-0 Salford City – League Two

Di’Shon Bernard, 20, was loaned to Salford City initially until January before the closer of the domestic transfer window on Friday. Bernard was unable to play against Port Vale in the 1-0 defeat at Vale Park this weekend but will be seeking to get more first team action as soon as he can. The Ammies will be cack in League Two action on Tuesday evening at The Peninsula Stadium, welcoming Southend United where they will be seeking to get back to winning ways after their first league defeat of the season. Bernard will be looking to get his career noticed at first team level as he may be seeking to break into the United squad, which will be tough for him.

Next Match: Southend United (H) – 20 October – League Two

Max Haygarth

Last Match: Aldershot Town 3-2 Brentford B – Friendly

Max Haygarth, 18, was loaned to Brentford B before the closure of the domestic transfer window in Friday. Haygarth could feature for his loan club for the first time on Tuesday when Brentford B tase Hendon FC in the London Senior Cup at the Avenue Park Stadium. The midfielder will be seeking to find himself a regular starting place at the club, which might be tough for him. He will link up with former United academy player Ben Hockenhull, who left the club on the summer. Brentford’s academy was closed at the end of the 2015/16 season, relaunched as Brentford B and the team plays friendly matches against U21 and U23 teams home and abroad.

Next Match: Hendon FC (A) – 20 October – London Senior Cup

Jacob Carney

Last Match: Kendal Town 1-0 Brighouse Town – NPL Division One NW

Jacob Carney, 19, was only signed by Brighouse Town on Friday as the domestic transfer window closed. However, he started against Kendal Town in the NPL Division One NW, conceding the only goal of the match in the 35th minute with Emil Jaaskelainen scoring. It was good to see Carney start in his first match out on loan, with him due to remain at the club until January. It may not be the top level of football but it will be good for him to get some matches under his belt and see what he can do in the future. United have many goalkeepers in the youth ranks, so it will be a challenge to make the grade at United, hence the loan spell to see if he can do more.

Next Match: Pickering Town (A) – 20 October – NPL Division One NW

Written by John Walker

Loan Watch: Dalot signs for Milan, Pereira signs for Lazio, Garner raising his game for Watford

Manchester United have seven players on loan so far during the 2020/21 season; Tahith Chong, 20, at Bundesliga side Werder Bremen, Matej Kovar, 20 at League One side Swindon Town, Dylan Levitt, 19, at League One side Charlton Athletic, Joel Pereira, 24, at Championship side Huddersfield Town, Aliou Traore, 19, at Ligue 2 side Stade Malherbe Caen, James Garner, 19, at Championship side Watford, Andreas Pereira, 24, at Serie A side Lazio and Diogo Dalot, 21, at Serie A side AC Milan. As the summer transfer window comes to a close, there could well be more players loaned out, especially with a domestic window from the 5-16 October.

Tahith Chong

Werder Bremen 1-0 Arminia Bielefeld – Bundesliga

Tahith Chong, 20, came off the bench and played 15 minutes in the 1-0 victory over Arminia Bielefeld in the Bundesliga on Saturday afternoon. Bremen scored through Leonardo Bittencourt in the 27th minute of the match which was assisted by Jean Manuel Mbom. It sees the German side rise to sixth in the Bundesliga this season. So far, Chong has made four appearances for the club, three in the Bundesliga and one in the DFB-Pokal playing a total of 125 minutes of action so far. The 20-year-old will be hoping to play a more regular role this season, scoring more goals to add to the one he scored in the DFB-Pokal against Carl Zeiss Jena.

Next Match: SC Freiburg (A) – 17 October – Bundesliga

Matej Kovar

Peterborough 3-1 Swindon Town – League One

Matej Kovar, 20, started and played 90 minutes in the 3-1 defeat to Peterborough on Saturday. Swindon have won twice in their last four League One matches this season, but still have not picked up any points on the road. Jack Payne opened he scoring for Swindon in the eighth minute of the match but three second half goals ended the good feeling for Swindon after Jonson Clarke-Harris scored a brace in the 48th and 69th minutes, the second from the penalty spot with Ryan Broom concussing the scoring on the 78th minute of the match. Kovar has been unfortunate this season, conceding 14 goals in six appearances so far this season.

Next Match: Exeter City (H) – 6 October – EFL Trophy

Dylan Levitt

Charlton Athletic 0-0 Sunderland – League One

Dylan Levitt, 19, started in the 0-0 draw against Sunderland on Saturday in League One. The 19-year-old was booked in the 58th minute for a foul and seemed to play well for Charlton, who have set their sights on reaching the Premier League in the near future – which might be a stretch. He only played 84 minutes during the match having been replaced by Marcus Maddison. He will be happy with the game time that he has had to far this season and will be seeking to impress his manager for the remainder of the season. If you have seen Levitt play, you will know that he has the talent to succeed and playing in League One will be good for him.

Next Match: Wigan Athletic (H) – 17 October – League One

Joel Pereira

Rotherham 1-1 Huddersfield Town – Championship

Joel Pereira, 24, one again was unused substitute in the 1-1 draw against Rotherham on Saturday in the Championship. The Portuguese goalkeeper had not yet played a single minute for his loan club and looks to be rooted to the bench with Ben Hamer seen as the number one goalkeeper at the club. It makes you wonder if Pereira has any chance of succeeding anywhere or whether each loan spell will continue to be a waste of time for him as he is not playing much football at all. He seemed to be a confident and talented goalkeeper a few years back but nothing seems to be going right for him. He might player after the international break.

Next Match: Swansea City (A) – 17 October – Championship

Aliou Traore

Stade Malherbe Caen 1-0 Amiens – Ligue 2

Aliou Traore, 19, did not feature in the 1-0 Ligue 2 victory over Amiens on Saturday. In recent weeks he has been ill and is expected to still be recovering. He has played in two first team matches the season and two youth league matches, missing the last four matches for the first team. The next match for Caen will be played after the international break so Traore could be well enough to be considered for the first team after the break to the club league season. It is not yet known as to whether the player has a future at United after this season as his desire to play first team football is strong. It could well be that this is the start of a permanent exit for him.

Next Match: Niort (A) – 17 October – Ligue 2

James Garner

Reading 1-0 Watford – Championship

James Garner, 19, made another start for Watford in the 1-0 defeat to Reading at the Madejski Stadium, playing 90 minutes. It was an unfortunate result for Watford with the home side opening the scoring in the 41st minute of the match through record signing George Puscas, assisted by Tom Holmes. Garner ratted the crossbar with a stunning free-kick in the 23rd minute of the match, which looked destined for the back of the net. Garner has the talent to succeed at Watford this season and will be learning a lot playing first team football in the Championship. With the international break, he will be seeking to start again against Derby at Pride Park.

Next Match: Derby County (A) – 16 October – Championship

Andreas Pereira

Lazio 1-1 Inter Milan – Serie A

Andreas Pereira, 24, was signed by Serie A side Lazio late last week and was not involved in the 1-1 draw to Inter Milan on Sunday. Pereira has not played since last season and was not likely to get many matches at United this season based on the players they have in midfield, who are all likelier to feature more than him. It will be his third loan spell away from United and it could well be his last as he’s never really made an impact at the club. After the international break, Pereira will be seeking to break into the starting XI at Lazio and it will be interesting if he does and what position he will play in Italy. It could be the start of something for him.

Next Match: Sampdoria (A) – 17 October – Serie A

Diogo Dalot

AC Milan 3-0 Spezia Calcio – Serie A

Diogo Dalot, 21, was confirmed as an AC Milan player on Sunday as the club beat Spezia Calcio 3-0 in the Serie A. Dalot last played for United against Brighton and Hove Albion in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday evening in a 3-0 victory. Rafael Leão scored a brace in the 57th and 78th minutes of the match with Theo Hernández scoring in the 76th minute of the match to complete the scoring. Milan sit second in the table with nine points in three matches only goal difference between them and league leaders Atalanta. Dalot will be seeking to get some first team experience for the club this season which could commence in their next match – the Milan derby.

Next Match: Inter Milan (A) – 17 October – Serie A

Written by John Walker

Loan Watch: Levitt makes League One debut; Garner continues to show his class at Watford; Kovar tastes victory

Manchester United have just six players on loan so far during the 2020/21 season; Tahith Chong, 20, at Bundesliga side Werder Bremen, Matej Kovar, 20 at League One side Swindon Town, Aliou Traore, 19, at Ligue 2 side Stade Malherbe Caen, Dylan Levitt, 19, at League One side Charlton Athletic, Joel Pereira, 24, at Championship side Huddersfield Town and James Garner, 19, at Championship side Watford. As the summer transfer window comes to a close, there could well be more players loaned out, especially with a domestic window from the 5-16 October.

Tahith Chong

Schalke 04 1-3 Werder Bremen – Bundesliga

Tahith Chong, 20, was on the bench in Werder Bremen’s 3-1 victory over Schalke 04 in the Bundesliga on Saturday. The young Netherland’s international replaced Josh Sargent in the 87th minute of the match with his side 3-0 up at the time with Niclas Füllkrug scoring a hat-trick in the match. Chong’s introduction was a tactical change with the match near enough a victory at the time. However, a late consolation by Schalke’s Mark Uth meant a clean sheet was off the table. Chong has played 111 minutes of football at the club so far this season and might find himself starting next weekend against Arminia Bielefeld in the Bundesliga.

Next Match: Arminia Bielefeld (H) – 3 October – Bundesliga

Matej Kovar

Swindon Town 4-2 Burton Albion – League One

Matej Kovar, 20, started his fifth match for Swindon Town on Saturday as the club returned to winning ways with a 4-2 victory over Burton Albion. Kovar has so far played 450 minutes of first team football for his club, conceding 11 goals with his club scoring 10 goal so far this season. The home victory over Burton saw new signing Jordan Stevens score in the seventh minute on his debut with Brett Pitman doubling the lead in the 31st minute and Mathieu Baudry putting the Robins 3-0 up in the 35th minute. Stephen Quinn scored one for Burton in the 40th minute. Swindon went 4-0 up in the 60th minute through Jonny Smith, seemingly securing the victory for his club with Burton getting a second goal through Lucas Akins in the 77th minute. It will be a good feeling for Kovar and Swindon with their second victory this season, losing three other matches.

Next Match: Peterborough United (A) – 3 October – League One

Aliou Traore

Valenciennes 1-0 Stade Malherbe Caen – Ligue 2

Aliou Traore, 19, once again played no part in Stade Malherbe Caen’s 1-0 defeat to Valenciennes in Ligue 2 on Saturday evening. The player has been missing from the past three matches (including this one) our to illness and it would seen that he has still not recovered. Traore has played two matches for his loan club so far at first team level, making two more appearances for the youth team. His development at United had reached the level whereby the player wanted to play professional level football, rather than feature for the club at U23 level, which is understandable. It is not yet know if the player has a future at United – this season will probably define that.

Next Match: Amiens (H) – 3 October – Ligue 2

Dylan Levitt

Lincoln City 2-0 Charlton Athletic – League One

Dylan Levitt, 19, started against Lincoln City in League One on Sunday afternoon. This was the first League One match Levitt has played a part in, only playing against West Ham United in the Carabao Cup on the 15 September, a 3-0 defeat for Charlton. In the eighth minute of the match, Levitt started to show his quality by digging out a shot on goal from 22-yards, but it was wide of the target. In the 31st minute of the match, Erhun Oztumer floated the ball to the edge of the box from a corner with Levitt waiting, volleying the ball which was deflected wide. Levitt that had another effort from a set-piece, which took a deflection and nearly spun inside the post. In the 77th minute of the match, both Levitt and Oztumer were replaced by Jake Forster-Caskey and Jonny Williams. Lincoln won the match 2-0 scoring in added time at the end of the first half and two minutes from time. The also had a penalty saved by former United goalkeeper, Ben Amos.

Next Match: Brighton U21 (H) – 30 September – Carabao Cup

Joel Pereira

Huddersfield Town 1-0 Nottingham Forest – Championship

Joel Pereira, 24, was once again an unused substitute in Huddersfield Town’s 1-0 victory over Nottingham Forest in the Championship on Friday evening. It was the prefect turnaround for the home side, who have suffered three defeats already this season to Rochdale in the Carabao Cup, Norwich City and Brentford in the Championship. It was hoped that with Ben Hamer’s recent performances that Pereira would be given a chance to try and break into the starting XI but with the victory over Forest, that might not be likely moving forward. It is not looking good for him.

Next Match: Rotherham (A) – 3 October – Championship

James Garner

Watford 1-0 Luton Town – Championship

James Garner, 19, started for the second time for his loan club this week as his club won their local derby against Luton Town in the Championship 1-0. João Pedro scored the only goal of the game in the 35th minute to put Watford back on winning ways after their 3-1 defeat to Newport County in the Carabao Cup earlier in the week; a match which Garner also started in, playing 90 minutes. So far for Watford, the 19-year-old has played 198 minutes of football, added to the 180 that he had played for United, he will be well on his way to achieving match fitness for his loan club. Perhaps he will start against Reading in the Championship next weekend?

Next Match: Reading (A) – 3 October – Championship

Written by John Walker

Loan Watch: Garner makes Watford debut; Chong suffers first big defeat of the season

Manchester United have just six players on loan so far during the 2020/21 season; Tahith Chong, 20, at Bundesliga side Werder Bremen, Matej Kovar, 20 at League One side Swindon Town, Aliou Traore, 19, at Ligue 2 side Stade Malherbe Caen, Dylan Levitt, 19, at League One side Charlton Athletic, Joel Pereira, 24, at Championship side Huddersfield Town and James Garner, 19, at Championship side Watford. As the summer transfer window comes to a close, there could well be more players loaned out, especially with a domestic window from the 5-16 October.

Tahith Chong

Werder Bremen 1-4 Hertha Berlin – Bundesliga

Tahith Chong, 20, started his first Bundesliga match at Werder Bremen ad the strugglers from last season fell to a 4-1 defeat at home to Hertha Berlin. Chong played in the left-wing role but the home side could not really do much to avert the Berliners from going 2-0 up in the first half with goals from Peter Pekarik and Dodi Lukebakio. A third goal was scored in the 62 minute through Matheus Cunha. Chong was replaced by Nick Woltemade in the 63rd minute with Davie Selke scoring a consolation goal six minutes later. Sadly for Werder, Hertha scored a fourth goal through Jhon Córdoba in the 90th minute, seeing the clubs biggest defeat of the season so far.

Next Match: Schalke 04 (A) – 26 September – Bundesliga

Matej Kovar

Blackpool 2-0 Swindon Town – League One

Matej Kovar, 20, continued in goal against League One side Blackpool on Saturday afternoon. Despite doing well against Rochdale last week, Swindon conceded two goals through CJ Hamilton in the 41st and the 47th minutes of the match. Kovar is certainly getting a baptism of fire at Swindon this season and manager Richie Wellens, the father of United academy player, Charlie Wellens, may need to put something into play in order for the club to not concede as many goals. So far this season, Kovar has conceded nine goals in the four matches he has played this season in the EFL Trophy, League One and the Carabao Cup.

Next Match: Burton Albion (H) – 26 September – League One

Aliou Traore

Stade Malherbe Caen 0-0 FC Chambly – Ligue 2

Aliou Traore, 19, has not featured in the last two Caen matches; a 3-0 victory over Rodez and a 0-0 draw this weekend against Chambly, because of illness. The midfielder has featured for the senior team as well as the youth team so far this season, playing in two matches at each level and playing a total of 140 minutes of football. The player was keep to test his ability in professional football this season, which is why he left United on loan. As a box-to-box midfielder, it could be very difficult for him but after a season of playing regularly, if that is what happens for him, he could force himself into the picture for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer next summer, providing he continues his development. It may not seem likely though given he quality already in United’s academy pushing for first team places.

Next Match: Valenciennes (A) – 26 September – Ligue 2

Dylan Levitt

Charlton Athletic 1-3 Doncaster Rovers – League One

Dylan Levitt, 19, was an unused substitute in Charlton’s 3-1 defeat to Doncaster Rovers in League One on Saturday afternoon – one of the league matches which was allowed to host up to 1,000 home supporters as the league bids to bring supporters back into the game. Madger Gomes put Rovers 1-0 up in the 25th minute with Charlie Barker scoring an own goal to put the away side 2-0 up in the 49th minute. In the 63rd minute, Rovers scored their third goal of the game through Tyreece John-Jules with Ben Whiteman grabbing the assists for the last two goals. Charlton scored a late consolation in the 67th minute through Conor Washington, assisted by Jake Forster-Caskey. Levitt played 90 minutes in the 3-0 Carabao Cup defeat to West Ham United during the week and could feature against Lincoln next weekend.

Next Match: Lincoln City (A) – 27 September – League One

Joel Pereira

Brentford 3-0 Huddersfield Town – Championship

Joel Pereira, 24, was an unused substitute in Huddersfield Town’s 3-0 defeat to Brentford in the Championship on Saturday. The Portuguese goalkeeper has yet to feature for his loan club this season, sitting on the bench for the defeats against Rochdale (Carabao Cup), Norwich City and Brentford (Championship). Huddersfield manager Danny Cowley might have seen enough of Ben Hamer for the time being, who has conceded five goals in three matches with the club only beating Bradford City, which was a friendly match. Pereira could make his debut against Forest on Friday evening, if Cowley feels a change of goalkeeper might be a change of fortunes for the club this season.

Next Match: Nottingham Forest (H) – 25 September – Championship

James Garner

Sheffield United 0-0 Watford – Championship

James Garner, 19, was loaned out to Watford late last week after playing twice for United’s U23 side this season in which his side beat Salford City 6-0 in the EFL Trophy with the midfielder getting two assists, also losing in the Premier League 2 to Leicester City. Garner was probably not expected to make his Watford debut this weekend in the 0-0 draw to Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough but he replaced Domingos Quina in the 72nd minute of the match and was booked in the 88th minute of the stalemate. Watford face Newport County in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday evening which could see Garner make his first start with Watford seeking another win in the competition and to continue their unbeaten start to the season.

Next Match: Newport County (A) – 22 September – Carabao Cup

Written by John Walker

James Garner linked to Bournemouth for season-long loan spell

Newly relegated from the Premier League, it is reported by The Sun that Bournemouth will look to sign Manchester United midfielder James Garner on loan during the 2020/21 season. It has been reported that the 19-year-old would be able to leave the Old Trafford club on loan this summer and it was suggested that Sheffield Wednesday, Swansea City and Cardiff City were interested in the player. It is suggested that the South Coast club want to make a quick return to the Premier League.

As much as playing in the Premier League would be good for the player, playing in the Championship would see him learn a lot more in the game after playing so well in the U23s during the season. It would be unlikely that Garner would be afforded much first team football at United next season with the likes of Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Fred and Scott McTominay all ahead of him. It would be good to see him get a chance though.

Many players in the past have been loaned out to gain first team status at lower league clubs. Some have not worked, others have. I am hoping that Garner will be one of the latter as I have high hopes for him. I am sure the player will be relishing the chance to impress away from the Old Trafford club, proving himself under another manager and showing just what he is capable of in the game, which at youth level shows his potential and he will be wanting to achieve that at first team level.

If Garner did sign for the Cherries, it would be a club not only licking their wounds from their relegation from the Premier League last weekend but also a club looking for a new direction after Eddie Howe left the club this weekend. It could be a good experience for the midfielder who will be seeking to put himself in with a chance of playing first team football with United in a season or two. This experience would really;y test the player’s mettle.

If Bournemouth do not end up getting a deal done to sign the 19-year-old on a season-long loan spell, Swansea City and Sheffield Wednesday have both been credited with an interest in the player. However, United will pick the club most likely to play him regularly as with loan spells, they will only work if the player is given amble playing time. It is possible that other clubs may be interested in the midfielder as there is a lot of talent in his locker, which could be unlocked during the course of the season.

Cardiff City were said to be interested in the player, however, they quickly poured cold water on the reported interest, although that was before there were committed to the Championship for another season, losing the Championship playoff against Fulham with the final to be contested between Fulham and Brentford on Tuesday evening. Garner should be excited for his future. He should be given ample playing time to show what he is capable of, which should excite football fans.

Written by John Walker

James Garner likely to head out on loan next season which will kickstart his career

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will decide which players will be loaned out ahead of the 2020/21 season commencing. One player likely to be loaned out if 19-year-old James Garner who has been the subject of interest with a few Championship clubs and one in League One. It has been reported by the Daily Mail that Sheffield Wednesday, Swansea City and Cardiff City were credited with an interest and League one club Doncaster Rovers had also made an enquiry.

However, the Manchester Evening News have reported that Cardiff are not interested in signing the player on loan this summer. Swansea will remain in the Championship next season after losing 3-2 on aggregate to Brentford in the Championship playoff with Cardiff seeking to come back from a 2-0 defeat against Fulham last week on Thursday evening. Obviously, Solskjaer will make the final decision on whether the player will be loaned out but I would presume that he would be advised which club his playing time would be increased at.

The player will then make his decision. It is imperative that, providing he is fit, he played regular first team football. Many young players spend a season out on loan and do not play regularly, which is not really aiding in their development. Garner, 19, is rangy holding midfielder with an eye for a pass and more importantly an eye for a goal. He is a player that could learn much in the Championship but also bring much to the league. It will be exciting watching him play first team football next season if he is loaned out.

Garner has a contract with United that expires in the summer of 2022 although there is an option for a further year to be added. However, it is possible that United could secure the player to a new contract before heading out on loan in order to show the player that they want to keep him at the club and this is just for his experience. David Beckham was loaded out before he made it at first team level at the club so there is a benefit of this happening.

This season, Garner has predominantly played U23 football making 12 appearances throughout the season, which was cancelled back in mid-March after the coronavirus pandemic suspended world football. The 19-year-old scored nine goals and two assists. In addition to U23 level football, Garner made six appearances at first team level, playing four times in the UEFA Europa League, and one a piece in the Premier League and the Carabao Cup, making an assist which he was proud of.

Garner is a talent and a season in the Championship could be the inspiration to take him from U23 football at United into the first team. Neil Wood, the U23 manager, has stated that five or six players from his squad could be loaned out next season, which would be good for them all. Speaking to the Manchester Evening News back in May, Wood confirmed:

“There’s quite a few players in that group from the U23s this season that would benefit from going out on loan. It’s something that will be assessed when we return, because a lot of league clubs are on shutdown as well at this moment in time.

“So there’s not much movement, not many talks going on at the moment. But yeah there’s five or six of them that I think are ready to push on – and it depends if the first team want them to be part of their squad, or if it seems better for them to go out on loan.

“It’s something that all the staff will map out, the best for each individual player.”

Written by John Walker

Eight talented academy players that Solskjaer could promote in the future

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a whole host of talent in his squad at the Old Trafford club but to continue putting his mark on the team he will be seeking to do something similar to what Sir Alex Ferguson did at the club – continuing to trust the clubs talented youth players and giving them opportunities to succeed in the first team, which is the way the club has been run for over a century. This is the DNA of United, the main thing that keeps supporters supporting the club.

When you talk about United, two things seem synonymous – the Busby Babes and the Class of 1992. Both incarnations involved talent youth players making up a lot of the squad and guiding the club to glory, which is what both levels did, albeit one of them, the Busby Babes were ended after that fateful plane crash in Munich on the 6 February 1958. Ten years later though, Sir Matt Busby honoured their deaths with a European Cup victory, beating Benfica 4-1 at Wembley Stadium.

For Solskjaer to create his own style at United, which like Ferguson’s was moulded on the style of Busby – fast-paced attacking football with United pushing themselves on the opposition, in their half, for the majority of the match, which is what Solskjaer has started to implement and has been sown for much of 2020 so far, especially after the Premier League restart because of the coronavirus pandemic which suspended world football for about three months in mid-March.

Solskjaer will be looking to bring in a few new faces this summer, to continue United’s rise, also seeking to end a few careers at the club, making way for new faces – some of which will be from the clubs successful academy, which helped the Busby Babes, the Class of 1992 and other players from other periods to attain their places in the game, many of whom ended up leave the club for pastures new, forming a career for themselves, albeit at a lower or different level to that of United.

Which players from the clubs academy could Solskjaer look to bring through to the first team in the not too distant future and beyond?

There are eight players at this moment in time who are excelling in their abilities at youth level and need to find a way to break into first team football, whether it is under Solskjaer in United’s first team or at another club in the form of a loan spell during the 2020/21 season. Loan spells away from United have been important in the growth of young players. Look what being loaned out has done for United goalkeeper Dean Henderson at Sheffield United. He’s turned into a decent player.

Players such as David Beckham were loaned out before making United’s first team. Not all players will make it though, that is down to football, the opportunity each player has and how they take their chances. This is not a detriment to the abilities of players who did not make the grade at United, their schooling at the club gave them something, many of them forming careers in the game. The eight players that Solskjaer should keep an eye on are detailed below;

Ethan Laird, 18

The right-back is a player who can also play at left-back and in the central areas of the back four, so will be a player that offers a lot to Solskjaer. He has been promoted to first team training already and could make an appearance soon, having already made his debut in the UEFA Europa League against FC Astana in Kazakhstan in November. At youth level, Laird has played 54 times, scoring four goals and 16 assists. He could well be the player that takes on Aaron Wan-Bissaka for the right-back role.

Teden Mengi, 18

The central defender is the player that has been tipped to be the next youth player to make it into the first team. He has been training with Solskjaer’s squad for a while – he has been around the first team but has not yet played. In three seasons at youth level, he has played 50 times, scoring twice and assisting five times. With a lack of depth in defence at this stage of the season, Mengi could be crucial in the remaining matches of the season, albeit on the bench but could get a run out sooner rather than later.

Di’Shon Bernard, 19

Another central defender that could offer more will keep Solskjaer happy. He seems to be inundated with quality defenders coming through the youth ranks. Like Laird, Bernard made his debut in the UEFA Europa League back in November against FC Astana. At youth level, finishing his third season at United, the defender has made 55 appearances, scoring five goals and one assist – showing his class from the back, which is something that might get him noticed by Solskjaer in the future.

James Garner, 19

Perhaps one of the more experienced players on this list and possibly one who has the talent to play in the first team now, although I feel a season on loan for him would do him the world of good during his career, which is likely to be at United, unless something goes dreadfully wrong. In four seasons at the club, he has made seven first team appearances, assisting one goal. At youth level, he has made 63 appearances, scoring 14 goals and nine assists. A talented midfielder just waiting for that chance. Hopefully Solskjaer will have some plans for him.

Ethan Galbraith, 19

The Northern Ireland midfielder operates in a withdrawn, defensive area, which is a position that Solskjaer will need to make arrangements for in the future, with Nemanja Matic not getting any younger, but options are there for him to be implemented, if he passes the tests Solskjaer will likely put in place with Nicky Butt now in charge of first team progression from academy level. Came off the bench for the first team already this season and will be seeking progress there. At academy level, he’s played 60 times, scoring eight goals and six assists.

Dylan Levitt, 19

The Welsh midfielder is a bit like Garner, has experience at youth level and has made his debut in the first team although eh has not played as much as his young teammate. Levitt is a midfielder who can get on the ball, dictate play and get into important goalscoring positions. During his time in the academy, where he has finished his third season, Levitt has made a total of 74 appearances, scoring 14 goals and 16 assists – showing his quality on the ball and a player who could excite Solskjaer and the Old Trafford faithful for years to come. Like Garner, a loan spell away from United could be beneficial, unless Solskjaer has plans.

Hannibal Mejbri, 17

The 17-year-old French midfielder is a player that has a lot of backing at United and Nicky Butt, a former academy graduate and part of the famous Class of 92 was part of the team that brought Mejbri from AS Monaco last summer. It was a high-profile transfer considering the age of the player, who was 16 at the time, with many clubs seemingly interested in him with United pulling it off. Mejbri has played 20 times at academy level, scoring one goal and five assists. He’s going to be a quality player.

D’Mani Bughail-Mellor, 19

The 19-year-old is an exciting player who can play a variety of positions in the wide areas, through the middle of the midfield, behind the striker and playing as a centre-forward, which is the position he has played regularly this season at youth level. He’s been at United all his playing career and will be seeking to force himself into Solskjaer’s plans in the short-term future. He’s already made his debut, albeit off the bench, so has a little experience. At youth level, he’s made 60 appearances, scoring 15 goals and nine assists, which bodes well for the future, if he can keep creation and goalscoring coming.

There will no doubt be more names to add to this list in the future but these eight players could have the ingredients for Solskjaer to keep a close eye on their progress in the academy, seeking that spark which could get them in the first team regularly. Some players will benefit from being loaned out next season, others will benefit from being given chances in the first team sparingly, giving them a taste of the action and what will be required to achieve a position at that level more often. The future certainly looks exciting for United and these eight payers.

Written by John Walker

Di’Shon Bernard, Largie Ramazani and James Garner tipped to be the next big thing at Manchester United

Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay has named some of the players within the Old Trafford club’s academy that he considers to be the ones to keep a look out for in the coming years. Over the years, United has been excited about many prospects from the academy of the club from Duncan Edwards, George Best, and Ryan Giggs and beyond.

McTominay himself made the rise from the academy to become a regular first team player today. It is great to see first team players take an interest in the younger players at the club, which gives them the necessary attention, also showing the players themselves that they are appreciated from those already in the first team, a boost if you will.

McTominay feels that United supporters have a lot to be excited about in the future with many good players coming through the youth ranks in various positions. However, the 23-year-old highlighted three players for us all to look out for and all three of them have been noticed by the club and the supporters, especially this season.

Earlier this week, McTominay did a Q&A session with the official Manchester United website and on there he was asked about the youth players that he feels are showing good signs at the club. It was here where he mentioned three names; Di’Shon Bernard, Largie Ramazani, and James Garner. McTominay said:

“For the younger boys? There’s a lot.

“You see Di’Shon [Bernard], Largie [Ramazani], Jimmy [Garner], you see Mason [Greenwood], obviously, coming in and Mason’s on his way to being established.

“He’s not quite at that level of being a regular first-teamer, and that’s what Mason has to strive to become.

“He’s one of the most talented players that I’ve seen for a long time – his left-foot, right-foot shooting is ridiculous.”

The three players, all of them 19, have been playing well this season, until the coronavirus pandemic suspended world football, which also cancelled the remainder of the season for youth football. Garner has already played for the first team this season, making 19 appearances at U23 and first team level, scoring nine goals and three assists.

Ramazani has made his first team debut earlier this season and in total, at U23 and first team level, he has made a total of 17 appearances, scoring 10 goals and two assists. Bernard also made his debut for the first team this season, making a total of 17 appearances at U23 and first team level, scoring no goals but getting one assist.

All three players have been exciting at times this season. Garner seems to be a player in the mould of Paul Scholes and seems to be able to score some stunning goals. Ramazani is a quick and tricky winger, who can also play through the middle, showing his ability on the pitch this season and Bernard is a central defender, his composure is second to none.

It is always great to see academy players rise to the challenge and that challenge will be tough on the road to them finding their feet in the first team at the Old Trafford club, playing at the Theatre of Dreams well into the future. It is not something that happens for all, but does happen for some. If they all keep their heads down and continue their development, there could be no stopping them.

copyright: JW