Everton could be set to add a ball-playing midfielder alongside another summer acquisition…
What’s the word?
“Everton and Southampton are undoubtedly two of the clubs at the front of the queue, but there are others that could still surprise us.”
The 21-year-old has reportedly been made available for just £15m by the Old Trafford outfit.
Imagine him & Onana
It quickly becomes clear from looking at the underlying statistics of Amadou Onana and Garner how well-suited they could be as a midfield pair that Frank Lampard seems so keen to play.
With the 6 foot 4 tackling machine lining up beside the finesse and guile of the young Englishman, they could form a top partnership for many years to come.
Should Everton sign James Garner?
Labelled a “special” footballer, the 21-year-old featured an astounding 41 times in the Championship while on loan at Nottingham Forest last season. Despite being more of a deep-lying midfielder, his return of four goals and eight assists in their promotion campaign is certainly impressive.
To combine this “talented” ace – as dubbed by ex-Watford manager Vladimir Ivic – with the towering Belgian, who ranks in the top 4% for tackles made per 90 minutes among positional peers in Europe’s top five leagues, it is clear that he will be capable of doing the dirty work to allow Garner to flourish further forward.
Onana does not pride himself on his ability in possession, as it is without the ball that he can make the biggest impact. This can be seen in his 83% pass success rate and his lowly ranking in the 22nd percentile for progressive passes.
Using his lanky frame, though, he can steal in to win back possession, feeding Garner to then utilise his passing range to get Everton on the front foot.
All the signs point towards a potential symbiotic relationship between the two quickly being formed, with the former Lille destroyer also likely to dominate aerially given his stature and his match average of 2.03 aerials won per 90.
Where one of these midfielders is comparatively weak, the other seems to thrive in that characteristic. With the perfect blend of powerful determination and effortless finesse, Lampard could nail down his midfield for the next few years if he can secure a deal for Garner.