James Garner joined Everton on the final day of the summer transfer window in September 2022, signing a four-year deal until the end of June 2026.
The central midfielder completed his move from Manchester United for an undisclosed fee to become the Blues’ eighth addition of the summer following the arrivals of James Tarkowski, Rúben Vinagre, Dwight McNeil, Conor Coady, Amadou Onana, Neal Maupay and Idrissa Gana Gueye.
Born in Birkenhead, England Under-21 international Garner joined Manchester United’s academy at the age of eight. Initially starting out as a central defender, he moved into midfield when he was 15 and made his first-team debut two years later in a Premier League match at Crystal Palace in February 2019.
A hard-working midfielder with an impressive range of passing, Garner has represented England through the age groups and showed his leadership qualities when he captained the Under-17s to the semi-finals of the 2018 European Under-17 Championship.
After being voted Manchester United’s reserve team player of the season, Garner joined Watford on loan for the first half of the 2020/21 season before switching to Championship rivals Nottingham Forest in January 2021.
Forest secured Garner's services again for the 2021/22 campaign, and the midfielder was instrumental in the East Midlands club's journey to the play-offs and eventual promotion to the Premier League.
He played a remarkable 49 times for Forest last term, scoring four goals and providing 10 assists in all competitions to help Steve Cooper’s side seal their place in the top-flight for the first time this century.
At the start of that season, Garner received his first call-up to England Under-21s and, in September 2021, made his debut for the young Lions in a 2-0 European Championship qualifying win over Kosovo at Stadium MK.
Long touted as one of Manchester United’s most exciting youth prospects, Garner captained the Red Devils’ under-16s before helping the under-18s win the Premier League North title in 2017/18.
Progress to United’s under-23s followed and, after scoring eight goals in 10 Premier League 2 appearances in 2019/20, Garner was received the club’s prestigious Denzil Haroun Reserve-Team Player of the Year honour to reward his progress.