JAMES GARNER is aiming to win over new Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag in pre-season.
The United academy product, 21, has returned to Old Trafford after a fantastic loan spell with Nottingham Forest where he won promotion to the Premier League via the play-offs.
And with defensive midfield being a problem position for United, there is a chance that Garner could earn himself a squad place next term with a strong summer.
The England Under-21 star said: “That’s the plan. That’s what I’d like to do, go on pre-season and impress.
“It’s down to me as a player to impress him and hopefully make a mark.”
Garner was speaking after the Young Lions’ disappointing 2-1 home defeat to Slovenia in Huddersfield on Monday night.
It ended what has been a marathon campaign where he racked up 49 club appearances alone.
He is yet to talk with his new gaffer yet but feels his feats this term have put to bed any doubts about whether he could handle the physicality of the senior game.
The Birkenhead boy said: “Before I went on loan, there were questions of am I physically ready to compete, to play first-team football, and I believe that I’ve shown that this season.
“Not only playing a lot of games but how I’ve held my own in such a tough league and men’s football, you know. I think I’ve shown that.
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“I’ve not spoken to (Ten Hag) yet. I literally came from the play-off final straight to England, so I’ve had no rest, no break, just been football, football so I’ve not spoken to anybody at the club.
“It’s time for rest now and I’m not sure what the future holds.”
Forest may well try to sign Garner again on loan this term after going up.
One thing seems certain, the youngster wants to be playing in the big league next season.
He added: “I feel like last season my career has only just started, I’m still young, just turned 21 a couple of months ago.
“I’ve had such a good season this season, with the national team and at club level as well. It’s very important now to hopefully play in the Premier League next season.”
Djed Spence was a fellow loanee at Forest with Garner this season.
The right-back, 21, had a night to forget at the John Smith’s Stadium as he scored an own goal inside the first minute.
But overall it has been a fabulous year for the South Londoner, for whom Tottenham are in talks with Middlesbrough over a possible summer deal.
On his team-mate for club and country, Garner added: “He’s a dream to play with. He’s so fast, very good one v one going forward and defending.
“He’s got it all as a full-back and as a wing-back, wherever he plays and the future looks very bright for him.
“He’s had just as good a season as I think I’ve had, if not better. So I believe that right now he could play in the Premier League.”