Influential midfielder who has always been one of the leaders throughout his time at the club.
Garner plays centrally, and started out in defence, made two substitute appearances towards the end of the 2016/17 Under-18s season, when he first appeared on most observers’ radar, after being Under-16s captain.
He enjoyed a marvellous first full year at Under-18 level, making 24 appearances in all competitions, scoring three goals and emerging as an outstanding contributor. So much so, he was shortlisted for the Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year award.
Garner’s leadership qualities and outstanding work in the middle of the park helped the young Reds win the 2017/18 Premier League North title but he missed the national final against Chelsea due to his international commitments, skippering his country in the European Championship.
Following a breakthrough season for the Reds, Garner put pen-to-paper on a first professional contract in the boardroom at Old Trafford and continued to work hard to progress. It paid off when, after a couple of inclusions on the first-team bench, he made his Premier League debut as a late substitute at Crystal Palace in late February, 2019. It was clearly a proud moment for him, and also coaches Michael Carrick and Kieran McKenna, who have overseen his development.
During Tour 2019, he scored his first senior goal, in a 2-0 win over Perth Glory, and started the campaign in outstanding form. He struck a couple of screamers in the opening Under-23s win at West Brom and his passing really caught the eye in the early part of the term. More senior experience was forthcoming in the Premier League and particularly the Europa League.
After eight goals in 10 Premier League 2 appearances, helping Neil Wood’s side clinch promotion in the division, he was voted the 2019/20 Denzil Haroun Reserve-Team Player of the Year, just reward for his progress. Later in that same week, he sealed a loan move to Watford, who beat off competition from a host of clubs for his signature.
Despite featuring regularly for the Hornets, a change of coach led to a switch at the end of January, with Nottingham Forest winning the chase for his signature. Garner played 20 times for the Championship club, scoring four goals.