Manchester United midfielder James Garner is still hoping to prove himself to manager Erik ten Hag in the remaining few weeks of pre-season to become established in the first-team.
Garner made seven senior appearances for United while still a teenager but has spent the last two seasons gaining invaluable experience on loan. The last 18 months have all been at Nottingham Forest, making 69 appearances and helping the club return to the Premier League after 23 years.
The 21-year-old was always highly rated when rising through the youth ranks and is now back at United after what he has described as the ‘perfect loan’ experience.
“I had a really good season last season – full of confidence, full of experience. The experience I didn’t have, I feel that now I do have,” Garner told PA.
“I played in some big pressure games and I just think it’s a new and improved me. It was almost as perfect a loan experience that I could possibly have had. I played pretty much every single game, played well and ended up winning promotion. For me, it’s probably the perfect loan.”
Garner has been with the United squad during the now concluded pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia, getting minutes on the pitch against Aston Villa. But with outstanding friendlies against Atletico Madrid and Rayo Vallecano on successive days to come, he is eyeing a chance to impress.
“For me now because I’ve played two seasons back-to-back, where I’ve been playing games non-stop, I don’t really want to stop that,” he continued.
“I want to play week in, week out. That is of course what I want to do. I’m not too sure but pre-season has been good so far and, like I said, hopefully in the next two, three weeks – we’ve still got games left – I can show what I can do.”