James Garner was one of several Manchester United players to depart the club this summer after injuries prevented him from featuring in the club’s tour of Thailand and Australia.
Garner was tipped to enjoy a long career at Old Trafford but after several loan spells, the decision to sell him was made this summer as he joined Everton on deadline day.
The move to part ways with Garner has been met by some frustration from supporters and now, the midfielder has posted a classy farewell message on his social channels.
“Impossible to sum up 14 years of my life in one post. I arrived at the Cliff at 7 years old and leave Carrington as a man,” Garner wrote on Instagram.
“I’ve made friends for life and have memories that will last forever. To represent this club in the Premier League and in Europe was a dream come true.
“From the day that I arrived, so many people helped me, playing a major role in my development and enabling me to become the player that I am today.
“To all of my coaches, from Eamon Mulvey to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, from the kitmen to security, from the physios to the canteen staff and everyone in between. I want to thank you all for everything that you have done for me and my family.
“It’s time for the next step in my career! Once a Red always a Red,” he finished.
It was reported that United will receive £15m for Garner after Everton won the race to sign him, with other Premier League clubs said to have held an interest as well.
It’s understandable that some supporters are frustrated to see Garner leave after his stellar development in recent years but it must also be said that at this moment in time, United were desperate for investment in midfield.
United’s midfield has been neglected for years and it would not make sense for Erik ten Hag to gamble on a player with no Premier League, Champions League or senior international experience.
Instead, the Dutchman decided to sign a five-time Champions League winner and Christian Eriksen, a title winner in Italy and one of the best Premier League midfielders of the last decade.
Ten Hag will not abandon the academy, his history as a coach shows he will do the opposite. But if there’s not a realistic route into the senior side, it’s hard to argue against selling and generating revenue for other transfers. United have been traditionally bad at just that aspect of the transfer market.