After agreeing a contract extension with Manchester United, Bruno Fernandes is ecstatic.
The Portuguese striker has agreed to an upgraded deal at Old Trafford, which will keep him at the club until the summer of 2026, with an option for a further year. Following the announcement, Fernandes held a special Twitter Q&A to interact with followers.
The 27-year-old was asked a number of questions, including one that questioned, “Who is the player from the academy that you truly want to play alongside one day?” Fernandes simply replied, “James Garner,” referring to the teenage midfielder who is presently on loan at Championship side Nottingham Forest.
His recent performances have piqued interest, with many forecasting a bright future for the 21-year-old at United. He was even compared to United star David Beckham in terms of dead-ball prowess. And it looks that Fernandes is already looking forward to Garner’s return to his parent club in the summer, when he will complete his second loan term in the East Midlands.
It’s not the first time Fernandes has predicted Garner’s success. He told United’s official website at the start of the season which young players he thought would progress. “I believe we already know some of them,” he remarked. I think Jimmy Garner is a fantastic player, and I admire the way he kicks the ball. He’s also a very combative player off the field.”
Anthony Elanga, the other youngster he anticipated would make an impact, has already done so, and fans will be hoping Garner can follow suit. “Anthony Elanga was already playing with us and pre-season he has been excellent,” Fernandes remarked at the time. I believe he is deserving of everything that is happening to him since he is a good child who works hard and is extremely humble. I believe he and Jimmy, as well as all the other children, have a bright future.”
Garner began his second loan stay at the City Ground hesitantly, but since Steve Cooper’s arrival in September, he has stepped up his game. Garner has three goals and four assists to help Forest reach the Championship play-offs. They are currently in ninth place in the standings, but have three games in hand on the clubs ahead of them.
Cooper recently praised Garner in an interview with the Athletic. “I knew him from when he was captain of the England Under-17 team, so we had a relationship before we came here,” he said. He has performed admirably. He has been a standout performer for the team in recent months. He’s always been a good choice for us. The financing is proving to be really advantageous.
“For the run-in, it’s critical that he stays at the same level.” He needs to get to the conclusion of the season and be able to state that he is a better player than he was when he first arrived. A loan’s goal is always to achieve this. We are quite pleased with him. We put in a lot of effort with him, and he puts in a lot of effort himself.”