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Manchester United may have discovered their set-piece specialist for Erik ten Hag

By George Smith

Nottingham Forest midfielder Ryan Yates has described Manchester United loanee James Garner as "one of the best" set-piece specialists in the Championship.

Yates has made the admission ahead of Forest facing Sheffield United in the first-leg of their Championship play-off semi-final at Bramall Lane on Saturday afternoon. Forest finished fourth in the Championship standings last weekend and will lock horns with the Blades over a mouthwatering two-legged tie in an attempt to try and reach Wembley.

United loanee Garner, who will have aspirations of becoming a key part of Erik ten Hag's plans at Old Trafford next season, has played a key role in Forest's success this season, producing an array of outstanding performances. He has made 46 appearances in all competitions and proven to be a key member of their fairytale rise up the league that they have enjoyed since Steve Cooper took charge in September.

READ MORE: Two Manchester United stars 'pulled apart' in training ground 'scrap'

In total, Garner, who helped Forest reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup this term, has directly contributed to 14 goals in all competitions, scoring four times and grabbing ten assists. A bulk of his assists have come via set-plays, with his corners often proving devastating.

And for fellow Forest midfielder Yates, Garner, who is 21, has put himself amongst the leading lights when it has come to set-pieces this season. He has waxed lyrical about his deliveries, insisting they go "under the radar."

"The delivery has got to be good, it's got to be in the right areas," said Yates, as quoted by Nottinghamshire Live. "We've got one of the best in the league at that in James. He's unbelievable.

“A lot of credit has got to go to him. It probably goes under the radar a bit. He is always practising them, and he is such a threat.

Nottingham Forest ace James Garner has been excellent from corners this season. (Nathan Stirk/Getty Images.)

"So much credit has also got to go upstairs, to the analyst team. You wouldn't believe the amount of time they spend looking at corners and free-kicks. It is unbelievable.

"They are giving us all the information, we've got to go and execute it. It's a culmination of all of that.

"I think we can score even more. The best teams, the Man Citys and Liverpools, have scored the most goals from set-pieces this year.

"You wouldn't think that about Man City, but they have scored the most goals from set-pieces in the Premier League. It just shows, if you want to be right up there, you have to convert your chances from set-pieces."

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Dive Deeper:
Manchester United already have the blueprint for James Garner's development under Erik ten Hag
James Garner has been having a great season with Nottingham Forest.
Manchester United could provide Erik ten Hag with the missing piece of his backroom puzzle
Erik ten Hag has been putting together his backroom staff ahead of his maiden season at Manchester United.
Erik ten Hag contacts Frenkie de Jong as Manchester United fans have Antony transfer theory
Your Man United evening headlines tonight.
Erik ten Hag already has five players who can help mould the future of Manchester United
Erik ten Hag is going to have the luxury of working with a wealth of promising youngsters next season.
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Manchester United midfielder Donny van de Beek will have three weeks to impress Erik ten Hag
Donny van de Beek has had a disappointing time at Man Utd and he's now enduring a frustrating loan spell…
Cristiano Ronaldo ‘excited’ by Erik ten Hag arrival at Manchester United
Cristiano Ronaldo says Manchester United are “happy and excited” by the impending arrival of Erik ten Hag but warned the…
Get all your news in one place