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Sky Bet Transfer Fund profile: Gary Gardner

10 January 2015

Aston Villa midfielder Gary Gardner has signed on loan for Nottingham Forest thanks to the Sky Bet Transfer Fund. We take a look at his career to date:

Part of the Villa set-up since the age of 13, he has also represented England at every age group from Under-17s through to Under-21s and has twice battled back from serious anterior cruciate ligament injuries.

Two years after sustaining his first ACL injury that kept him out for a year, Gardner joined Coventry City on a month's loan and netted inside 10 minutes of his professional debut against Brighton and Hove Albion.

He was recalled from his loan spell at the Ricoh Arena and made his first senior Villa appearance in December 2011, coming off the bench to appear in a 3-1 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Read more: Aston Villa midfielder joins Nottingham Forest on loan thanks to the Sky Bet Transfer Fund

Gardner made his first start a month later and has now appeared 27 times for the club, a figure that would have been significantly more but for a second ACL injury sustained in August 2012.

It was a problem that ruled him out for the majority of the season, returning to the field on the last day of the campaign against Wigan Athletic.

The Solihull-born youngster spent a brief spell on loan at Sheffield Wednesday last season and has recently returned to Villa Park after a loan stint at Brighton and Hove Albion, where he netted twice in 20 games.

Thanks to the Sky Bet Transfer Fund, the youngster will now join up with Stuart Pearce's Nottingham Forest squad as they aim to get back on track after a run of only two wins in 17 Sky Bet Championship games.

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