• Dan Tracey


Jesse Lingard

When you look at Jesse Lingard, it is easy to fall into the trap that so many have been caught out by and that is assuming, the Manchester United star is still a youngster. However, at the age of now 28, that is not a tag he can still wear with pride.

Not only that, but at the age of 28, the desire for first team football is greater and it is perhaps that desire, that will see the England international moved on from Old Trafford before the end of the month.

Because for a player that represented his country at the 2018 World Cup, his career has at least stagnated, if not totally declined and when you consider that his current employers are top of the league without his contribution, it is a damming indictment of his prospects right now.

Which means what happens next for Lingard? A move to Ligue 1 has been mooted, as OGC Nice were reported to have shown some form of interest. However, a trip across the English Channel now looks like being a non-starter.

Thankfully as far as the player is concerned, that is not the only viable option on the table and although a fellow Premier League outfit has shown an element of interest, it might end up being a loan deal that suits all parties.

The club in question is West Ham and with the East London outfit looking upwardly mobile at present, the capture of the Manchester United star on a temporary basis, is one that could aid their quest for a European campaign next season.

The Hammers are currently in the groove as far as performances go and more importantly, they have money to burn after the sale of Ivory Coast international Sebastien Haller to Eredivisie giants Ajax.

While although, they would not necessarily need to spend money to land Lingard from Manchester United, funds may have to be attributed elsewhere and that is because, they already have two players currently playing for them on loan.

Both Craig Dawson and Saïd Benrahma have joined on a temporary basis from Watford and Brentford respectively and because the Premier League only permits two loan players per club at any one time, three into two simply will not go.

Then again, there is a quick and rather relatively simple fix to all of this and that is to convert one of the two short-term deals into a permanent transfer. Should this happen, then it would free up a loan slot for Lingard.

Ultimately, it becomes a decision for the player involved and one where he must ask himself whether he wants to be a passenger for his current employer or offer a more substantial presence elsewhere.

In today’s modern age of the game, it is all too easy to opt for the former, as the money continues to roll in regardless. However, after such an exile in the United wilderness, a move to the English capital and a prominent role at West Ham, might just prove to have the necessary appeal.