• News

Mata backs Man Utd prospect to become top-class midfielder

Juan Mata - Manchester United
Getty Images

The Spanish midfielder has waxed lyrical about a colleague of his who is currently carrying his development in the Championship.

James Garner has enjoyed a fine start to life at Watford, chipping in three assists in 11 games across the Championship and EFL Trophy so far this term.

The 19-year-old signed for the Hornets on a season-long loan deal in the summer with Manchester United wanting their academy graduate to get consistent playing time.

Garner joined Man United Under-8 set-up back in 2009 before rising through the ranks and earning promotion to the first-team nine years later.

The defender turned midfielder scored his first senior goal during the team’s summer tour 2019 after coming on as a late substitute in the first pre-season game.

The teenager is considered as one of the most promising players coming from United’s academy.

Juan Mata, a player who boasts a much glittering CV, has now backed Garner to have a successful career.

“I always thought he is one of the players who, if he keeps going and keeps improving, in the way he was doing in the Academy, he can be a very, very good midfielder,” Mata told United Review.

“I really like him; the way he plays on the ball, his cleverness, his way of looking forward, looking for a pass and also his attitude off the ball.

“I wish him all the best at Watford and I am sure he will do well. He’s a great guy and a very good player, as I’ve said before, because he keeps improving every day.”