James Garner & Morgan Gibbs-White: Premier League class in Championship sides

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Both James Garner and Morgan Gibbs-White have been particularly impressive so far this season, which is not a given for Premier League youngsters on loan to the Championship…

Taking a Premier League player on loan is always a risk for Football League clubs, but a couple of those youngsters in the Championship have caught the eye so far.

Watford were of course a Premier League club until pretty recently, but after relegation they made James Garner the latest Manchester United youngster to gain some experience at Vicarage Road, treading a path trod down the years by Tom Cleverly, Ben Foster, Danny Drinkwater and plenty more.

“They’re not going to get bundles of goals,” said Sam Parkin on the latest Totally Football League Show, of Watford after their 1-0 victory over Luton. “They’re playing two chaps up top who aren’t out-and-out strikers, but that in turn makes it difficult for opposition centre-backs to pick them up, because they’re going into little pockets of space.

“I was really impressed with Watford’s energy, especially the young players: when all the talk has been about which of the experienced lads aren’t out there, they’ve got Jeremy Ngakia, the right wing-back, Ben Wilmot, the left-sided centre-half, and I thought the young lad James Garner on loan from Manchester United was exceptional. He added class – Premier League class – to a game which Luton lacked in that department.”

Adrian Clarke, meanwhile, saw another Premier League loanee impress for Swansea, as they beat Wycombe 2-0.

“Wycombe didn’t want to press Swansea because they were scared they would get played through, so they sat off and didn’t get a kick.

“The thing that stood out for me was the movement: very fluid, very rotational, sophisticated – it was Premier League movement in many respects.

“Morgan Gibbs-White, someone we have tipped up already, was tremendous. I’ve played in this No.10 role, and it’s a very privileged position: because you’re allowed to go anywhere, roam left, right, go in behind. You’re lucky to get the nod, but sometimes you watch No.10s and they don’t show for the ball, they don’t make the effort to show for it.

“That’s the opposite of what Gibbs-White did: he went wide, he came short, he went beyond. The only criticism I’d have of him is that within the final 25 yards of the pitch he needs to get more confident with his shooting and the final pass. But this kid’s got great ability.”

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