February 22, 2024
Everton midfielder James Garner has quickly become a key player under Sean Dyche this season.

Everton midfielder James Garner has become a key cog in Sean Dyche’s system this season, and journalist Paul Brown has given his verdict to GIVEMESPORT on the former Nottingham Forest loanee.


Garner moved to Goodison Park from Manchester United back in the summer of 2022 for a fee which could total £15m, per Sky Sports. The 22-year-old struggled to make an impact for the Toffees in his first season at the club, but he’s become a regular under Dyche this term.


The England youth international goes slightly under the radar at Goodison Park, with a lot of the talk surrounding Idrissa Gueye and Amadou Onana, but Garner is more of a mainstay than the aforementioned duo. Garner has played in every single Premier League game so far this season, with only Jordan Pickford, James Tarkowski, and Abdoulaye Doucoure starting more games than the midfielder, as per FBref.


James Garner could be Everton’s most important midfielder

As mentioned, there’s been a lot of talk surrounding whether Onana or Gueye should start in this Everton side at the moment. With Dyche’s three main midfield options all fit, the Toffees boss had a decision to make, and it appeared to be Onana or Gueye who would make way. This was evident against Crystal Palace last time out, where Onana and Garner started, but the former was substituted at half-time with Gueye entering the fray.


Earlier in the season, Garner filled in on the right-hand side of midfield due to injuries and has been played at right-back during his tenure. His versatility makes him vitally important for Dyche and this Everton team.

James Garner vs Everton squad – Premier League 2023/2024
Output Squad rank
Overall rating 6.90 4th
Assists 1 =2nd
Goals 1 =4th
Pass success rate 79.6% 6th
Tackles per game 2.6 2nd
Key passes per game 1.1 4th
All stats according to WhoScored


When Garner was featuring as a makeshift right-back at times last season, Garner admitted that it was difficult to adapt to, but also suggested he was more than happy to play in any position – a dream for a manager…


“Of course, it was different and difficult. However, I feel like I can play there and do a job for the team. The people who get the most touches on the pitch are most often full-backs.


In the modern game now, the full-backs create a lot and are the key people you tend to look at in a starting XI.


It’s a position that has definitely evolved a lot. If I am chosen to play there, I will be more than happy. I feel comfortable switching positions.


From defence to midfield, midfield to right-back. I feel ready and more than capable of doing it.”

Paul Brown update

Brown has suggested that Garner is a bit of an unsung hero in this Everton side at the moment and is becoming an important player for Dyche at Goodison Park.


The journalist adds that he doesn’t always grab the headlines, hinting that the performances he produces might go unnoticed, but he’s able to influence the game and he’s a player Evertonians should be getting excited about. Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, Brown said…


“Yeah, I do think he’s an unsung hero. He’s becoming quite important to the team. He is also on a lot of dead balls at the moment. I think he’s played key roles in a lot of their wins so far. Not everything he does grabs the headlines, but it’s the small things in a game that make a difference sometimes. He’s been in the right areas of the pitch at the right moments to influence the game and I think he’s really grown into his role. I think he’s going to have a really good season for Everton, it’s something to be quite excited about.”


Sean Dyche is planning for January

The Toffees are beginning to target younger talent after years of misspending on ageing players. Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano recently claimed that the Merseyside club were monitoring 17-year-old Croatian star Anton Matkovic, alongside RB Salzburg and Sassuolo.


Romano has also suggested that Borussia Monchengladbach striker Winsley Boteli is also a target for Everton. Signing younger talent with sell-on value will be crucial for the club to get out of their current financial situation. Although Dyche might be hoping for players to have an immediate impact in the senior squad, they should have enough to steer clear of the relegation zone this season, despite their 10-point deduction.



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