Everton

Everton: Greg O’Keeffe claims James Garner has surprised him with key attribute

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Journalist Greg O’Keeffe has revealed his surprise at James Garner’s mobility after watching him for Everton’s Under-21s.

Garner was one of eight new signings that Frank Lampard brought in over the summer, although alongside fellow recruit Ruben Vinagre, he is yet to make his full debut in the Premier League for Everton.

The former Manchester United midfielder was seemingly not needed by Erik ten Hag at Old Trafford this season, and he may well have been proved right by the fact that Garner has not been able to get off the bench in the league.

However, O’Keeffe has admitted on the All Together Now podcast to being pleasantly surprised by Garner after watching him turn out for the Under-21s.

He said: “From what I’ve heard about him and watching him, obviously he’s not played for Forest or Man United for a while, but watching him for the 21s, he’s a bit more mobile than maybe I thought he might have been. He’s a bit more energetic, he gets around the pitch and he is quite physical in the tackle.”

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TIF Thoughts on Garner…

It will be frustrating for Garner to have left Man United – where first-team opportunities would have likely been limited – only to join the Toffees and struggle to get any sort of minutes with the first team.

Although being coached and learning from a midfield legend such as Lampard will surely only help Garner develop and grow as a footballer, it will be annoying having to settle for turning out at youth level after his summer move.

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Garner will perhaps have to wait on the sidelines for an injury or for Lampard to rotate his side before he can get his chance to shine, which is a distinct possibility coming up for all clubs ahead of the pre-World Cup fixture congestion, so it may not be too long before he is handed an opportunity to impress.

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