Jesse Lingard will remain a Manchester United player until at least January following the end of the summer transfer window.
After a successful loan spell at the London Stadium, David Moyes and assistant coach Stuart Pearce made it clear Lingard would be welcome back to the Hammers. However, with Manchester United understood to be holding out for a transfer fee north of £25million no move materialised for the England international.
Former West Ham defender Glen Johnson believes that Lingard will be ‘gutted’ he did not manage to secure a move away from Old Trafford.
“I think both Jesse and West Ham will be a bit gutted,” Johnson told BettingOdds.com. “He was enjoying his football, he was playing well and the Hammers loved him so I don’t know why that deal didn’t go through.
“Surely Manchester United weren’t that desperate to keep hold of him as they’ve signed a couple of attacking players this summer, so for me, Jesse is even further down the pecking order than he was this time last year.”
Over the summer, not only has Manchester United’s squad been bolstered by the return of Lingard but by the transfers of Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho.
With these two star signings arriving at Old Trafford, Lingard’s place in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s pecking order looks to have fallen even further than when he left the club in January.
Johnson is not the only former player to question Lingard’s decision with Gary Neville also believing it is a mistake to remain with his boyhood club.
“I’m disappointed for Jesse Lingard that he’s not left Manchester United,” he told Sky Sports.
“He’ll get a few games, he’ll get moments on the pitch, he’ll contribute, but I think he had something going at West Ham last year that meant Jesse Lingard in his own right was standing up as a really good player.
“To go back to being a squad player again I think, for me, is disappointing. I think you sometimes have to sort of fly the nest and go. I thought he’d already done that with what he did last year”
Johnson added that he was shocked Lingard decided to remain a Manchester United player:
“It’s blown my mind how this transfer didn’t happen, but who knows? Maybe there’s the chance for another loan deal in January with hopefully an option to buy at the end of the season,” he said.
“For Jesse personally he’s missed a good opportunity to get himself a good contract and to be a Hammer. I think he’s let one go there.”
Whilst the opportunity for Lingard to move away on another loan in January remains, Johnson’s point about there being an option to buy clause is unlikely to come to fruition.
Lingard has entered the final season of his Manchester United contract and as such, no transfer fee would be required to sign the 28-year-old next summer.
The England international is free to sign a contract with a non-English based club from January 1, 2022, and can do the same with an English team from July 1, 2022.
Source by Football London