Who is Manchester United debutant James Garner?

Who is Manchester United debutant James Garner?

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ROTHERHAM, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 14: James Garner of England during the International Match between England U17 and Germany U17 at The New York Stadium on November 14, 2017 in Rotherham, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

The history of Manchester United debuting youth academy graduates is well documented and another chapter was added against Crystal Palace.

In London, it was 17-year-old’s James Garner’s turn to make his senior debut for the Red Devils, playing the final few minutes of the visitor’s victory.

Such is United’s history with youth, Garner became the 230th academy member to make his senior debut in the club’s colours, albeit Garner’s debut come in United’s pink third kit for this campaign.

But who exactly is he?

Garner was born on March 13, 2001 in Birkenhead, England and only signed his first professional contract in May last year.

Having made his debut against Palace, Garner became the second player born in 2001 to make their Premier League debut, following in the footsteps of Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka who debuted earlier this season.

In terms of playing style, United caretaker boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer compared him to former midfielder, turned assistant coach Michael Carrick in the lead-up to the match, a comparison which continued following the match at Selhurst Park.

“I believe he’s got the chance to have a great future,” Solskjaer said.

“He knows we believe in him, we’ve got great faith in him as the next Michael Carrick. I know he’s young and I know it’s not fair on kids to compare to great players like Michael was, but he’s the same mould, he plays simple passes, plays through the lines.

“You’re at Man United, so Michael had the pressure of coming in after Roy Keane, that’s just the way it is at Man United.”

Adding on MUTV: “We’ve been waiting for that chance. With Nemanja and Ander injured there’ll be more chances for Jimmy, we might even see him against Southampton on Saturday.”

This was not Garner’s first experience around the first team squad having previously been named among the substitutes for fixtures against Valencia and Reading earlier in the campaign.

Throughout his youth career, Garner has shown great leadership qualities having captained England at the under-17 European Championships, in a tournament where his side fell at the semi-final stage.

United have put plenty of time into Garner’s development over the years, having seen him work his way up from the under-8 teams to a senior debut.

At youth level this season, he has featured in both the under-18 side and competed in the UEFA Youth League – which is an under-19 competition.

His debut may only be the beginning of another fantastic academy graduate for Manchester United.

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