James Garner admits it was “tough” leaving Manchester United for Everton, but he is pleased with the decision he made.
The former England Under-21s international joined the Toffees in a deal worth £15million [Sky Sports] in September 2022. That ended Garner’s 13-year association with United, but he has settled in well at Goodison Park and is now a key player for Sean Dyche.
Speaking to The Telegraph [13 January], Garner said: “It’s always a tough decision [to leave] when you’re coming from a club that is deemed one of the best in the world. It was a big decision but one I knew was right.
“I feel like I’ve proven it to those who didn’t believe me over that side, but more importantly I’ve proven to myself that I can play in a Premier League side week in, week out.”
Garner’s first season as an Everton player was not all that noteworthy as he made just seven Premier League starts.
It looked like that may be the case again this season, but the decision to shift him into a central-midfield position has worked wonders.
The 22-year-old has grown in confidence, helped no doubt by the fact that he knows he is playing in his favoured position on a regular basis.
There is an argument to be made that he has been the Toffees’ best player this season, with his 1,608 minutes on the pitch bettered only by Jordan Pickford and James Tarkowski (1,800 each) [WhoScored].
Leaving a club such as Man United, where he had been from a very young age, was always going to be tough for Garner.
Sixteen months on, though, and that is looking a very wise decision from a player who is only going to get better.