James Garner wasn’t short of options as he pursued a loan move away from Manchester United this summer.
Stretty News revealed last month that Garner was attracting interest from a host of clubs including Championship duo Coventry City and Blackburn Rovers.
But Garner eventually chose Watford, and made his debut from the substitutes bench in Saturday’s 0-0 draw away to Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough.
There are high hopes for Garner, who was recently announced United’s Under-23 player of the season after an outstanding campaign for Neil Wood’s side cut short by the coronavirus pandemic.
And a move to Vicarage Road offers the 19-year-old midfielder the platform to perform on a consistent basis in a competitive division.
According to the Athletic, Watford was seen as an ideal fit for Garner to continue his development as he will benefit from the ‘high-stakes’ environment of aiming to achieve an immediate return to the Premier League.
Garner has made just seven first team appearances for United, four of which have come in the Europa League. But his opportunities will be far less sporadic at Watford and the admiration of new manager Ivic will surely have swayed United and the player of a move down south.
“He is a quality player who likes to play and likes to manage the game and he will improve our passing during the game and our attacking football,” Ivic said, as quoted by the Athletic.
“He knows how to play fast and this is something that we want. Our target is to move the ball fast and be active without the ball.”
The Athletic adds that Watford even asked for a £5m option to make the deal permanent at the end of the season but United obviously denied the cheeky request.
Stretty News will keep you up to date with the progress of Garner throughout his season-long loan spell.
— Watford Football Club (@WatfordFC) September 19, 2020