By Sean Fisher

14th Sep, 2022 | 3:07pm

Alex Iwobi: Everton new boy James Garner is a ‘great player on the ball’

After joining Everton for £15million this summer, James Garner has already started to leave an impression on his teammates – especially Alex Iwobi.

Everton were one of the busier teams in this summer’s transfer market, but they left it late before acquiring the services of 21-year-old midfielder Garner.

Garner spent last season on loan at Nottingham Forest, where he helped Steve Cooper’s side earn promotion to the Premier League. But after failing to break into Manchester United’s squad upon his return to Old Trafford, he looked elsewhere and ended up at Goodison Park.

He’s yet to make an appearance for the Toffees since his deadline day move, but Iwobi insists he’s already catching the eye of his teammates on the training pitch.

Speaking to the club’s official website, Iwobi said: “Obviously James [Garner] hasn’t really played but we’ve seen his quality in training,” he said. 

“Great player on the ball.”

Ready to impress

While Garner was mostly overlooked during his spell at Old Trafford, the Birkenhead-born midfielder was a standout performer for Forest in the Championship last season, and once fit and settled in could be exactly what Everton are looking for.

Plying his trade mostly as a defensive midfielder, Garner boasts plenty of composure and a wide passing range, while also offering a threat going forward.

The return of Idrissa Gueye will no doubt stall his progression at Goodison Park, but his presence in the squad shows the improvement in squad depth from last season.

Plus, with the World Cup in the winter resulting in a packed Premier League schedule, rotation will be necessary – especially in the heart of midfield.

While perhaps not a direct improvement on the starting XI, Garner symbolises a shrewd investment by the club, something they have struggled to achieve in recent windows.

There’s no doubt Garner will be stepping foot on the pitch sooner rather than later, and he certainly has the potential to shine.