Epitomising the phrase ‘When life gives you lemons, make lemonade’, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United made club history by recording their eighth consecutive away win on the road with his squad, with a 3-1 win over Crystal Palace.
The feat was made even more remarkable with the squad that he had at his disposal, which has been ravaged through injury.
10 first team players - amounting to around £250 million worth of talent - were out of the latest gameweek.
Solskjaer took the disadvantage of a school of players being sidelined to take three of the academy graduates down to the capital with the first team squad, two of them; Garner and Tahith Chong made the matchday squad, with Angel Gomes missing out.
Gomes needn’t be too worried though, he remains the club’s youngest debutant, coincidentally, after coming on also against Palace in May 2017, since the great Duncan Edwards, and became the first player born in the 21st century to make an appearance in the Premier League.
Garner took to the Selhurst pitch as the game was approaching its conclusion, but the slither of action he was afforded delighted his interim manager. The 17-year-old became the 230th Man Utd Academy player to step up to the first team.
I believe he's got the chance to have a great future,
Solskjaer said (MEN).
He knows we believe in him, we've got great faith in him as the next Michael Carrick. I know he's young and I know it's not fair on kids to compare to great players like Michael was, but he's the same mould, he plays simple passes, plays through the lines.
Like Carrick, who played and won everything for Manchester United between 2006 and 2018 and now features in the dugout with Solskjaer, Garner plays in the centre of midfield but can also operate in defence.
In his first full year at Under-18 level he made 24 appearances in all competitions, scoring three goals and ‘emerging as an outstanding contributor’, consequently being shortlisted for the Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year award.
“We’ve been waiting for that chance. With Nemanja [Matc] and Ander [Herrera] injured there’ll be more chances for Jimmy, we might even see him against Southampton on Saturday.”
Solskjaer also took time to praise key members of the rest of his squad who produced the three points for Man Utd and kept them in competition for a top four position.
“Scott McTominay did really well today, some of the passes through the lines into Paul [Pogba] were excellent.”
Another player who has risen through the academy ranks, McTominay was making his second start in the XI in a row, and once again impressed fans who previously questioned his capabilities to step up to the first team.
Red Devils everywhere will be hoping that Manchester United produce another haute cuisine gourmet meal - with or without Garner’s inclusion - even if a few ingredients are missing against Saints this weekend.