Pundit and ex-Everton player Kevin Campbell has given his verdict to Goodison News on James Garner’s recent injury.
He sees the injury to the 21-year-old as an opportunity for some of the club’s young players to capitalise on.
According to the Liverpool Echo, the injury suffered by Garner was in relation to his back, which could rule him out for over two months.
In addition, the same report states that the issue was sustained prior to their league match against Bournemouth, back in mid-November.
Here’s what Campbell had to say on the midfielder’s injury: “It’s very, very difficult for James Garner, obviously.
“Because he wanted an opportunity, didn’t he? An opportunity to show what he could do. But sometimes these things happen and somebody else has to emerge.
“There are some young lads who have done very well, so there could be a spot for them to challenge.
“Injuries are part of the game, part and parcel. A couple of months is long, but at the same time, it’s not. It’s long for James Garner but it’s not long if you’re somebody who wants to take his spot. Unfortunately, this is the game.”
TIF Thoughts on Campbell’s comments…
It’s a huge blow for Garner, as you had the feeling his career was really on the cusp of something special following his successful loan spells with Nottingham Forest.
The midfielder made 44 Championship appearances last season for Forest, so having a lengthy period out of action could be considered a big setback for him.
Furthermore, he’s proven that he can be a creative threat from midfield. The 21-year-old is in the top 4% for assists and the top 9% for shot-creating actions, when compared to other midfielders outside the top five leagues over the past year (as per FBref).
One Everton player who could get the chance is Issac Price. The 19-year-old played one Premier League game last season and can operate in central midfield.
For the club’s under-21s, Price has 10 goal contributions from 50 appearances. Perhaps Frank Lampard could call on him and give him the chance to play in the league more consistently.