It’s that time of year again when a new name seems to appear every day in relation to a possible Manchester United transfer.
There are the usual suspects of course with Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and Harry Kane all players of high interest to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the summer window, while a whole host of other players come and go in relation to a move.
Solskjaer himself is always keen on stumping the press by sanctioning wildcard moves, last month even suggesting he’d like to sign players ‘nobody has written about and thought we were not going to go to.’
While certain individuals remain more likely than others this summer, it is understandable why Solskjaer is eager to keep his options open in case any interesting opportunity should arise out of the blue.
The latest name to crop up is that of Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Harry Winks, with contact reportedly made over a possible £25million transfer in the summer window.
It’s certainly an interesting one to consider, particularly given United’s underlying need to somehow strengthen their options in the defensive midfield department.
While his name might have possibly cropped up in conversation one source told MEN Sport ‘not to read too much’ into the links, reiterating that the club’s priority this summer remains on reinforcing their defensive line at both centre-back and full-back, before adding extra firepower in attack.
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In the wake of the rumours fans took to social media to raise a number of fair points. Is the Spurs midfielder really better than anyone already at Old Trafford? Is he good enough defensively to anchor the attacking flair of both Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba? How can a managerless side even decide to sanction his sale?
Having dreamt of the likes of Eduardo Camavinga and Wilfred Ndidi, a move for Winks would leave many supporters feeling rather short-changed this summer, but perhaps the biggest reason against a move is that United might well already have another player who is better suited to the role.
That player is James Garner.
While there is already serious interest from many clubs to take the 20-year-old on loan next season, he is set to get a chance to showcase his abilities in the United side this pre-season.
With fellow academy midfielders Ethan Galbraith and Dylan Levitt being eyed for their own loan exits there is a clear opportunity for Garner to prove why he should be the one given a chance in the senior set-up next season.
The Birkenhead-born midfielder is well aware that any role at United next season would likely be rotational at best, with his main dilemma deciding whether or not it is better to occupy a squad role at Old Trafford or move to another club where he can expect regular playing time.
With the likes of Brighton, Norwich and Rangers all keen on a move another loan switch might well prove to be the best solution for all parties before reevaluating his squad role once again in a years time.
But before any big decisions can be made Garner needs to be given a proper chance in the United midfield this summer. His excellent loan move to Nottingham Forest and continued progression as a professional indicate a very bright future in top-flight football, such untapped potential is also one obvious reason why Winks isn’t needed right now.