Jesse Lingard ended the transfer window as a Manchester United player despite expectation otherwise.
Lingard scored nine goals on loan at West Ham in the second half of last season.
It had seemed likely that the Hammers or another club would have made United a good offer to tempt him away.
Lingard ended up staying with the Standard reporting he wants to fight for his future.
The 28-year-old’s choice to stay at United was criticised by former Red Devils defender Jesse Lingard.
Neville told Sky Sports: “I’m disappointed Jesse Lingard hasn’t left. He’ll get a few games but I think he had something going at West Ham that meant he was standing up as a really good player and to go back into being a squad player again, it’s disappointing. Sometimes you need to fly the nest and go.”
Motivation to succeed
Neville’s point may well be a valid one, and it should also give Lingard the perfect motivation to succeed at United.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will give Lingard opportunities, even if the player can’t guarantee his place as a regular starter.
Lingard is behind Bruno Fernandes, and there is an important role in backing up the Portuguese star.
Fernandes looked to be burned out towards the end of last season as a result of being over-burdened and over played.
Solskjaer feels Lingard has returned from West Ham as a better player, telling the club website: “Don’t forget Jesse Lingard who has re-invented himself and has come back the man that we know he is with the quality. He is going to play a big part as well.”
Lingard has made one appearance so far as a substitute, although he was not available for the opening match due to a Covid test.
Contract question still remains
Lingard is giving his United career another shot, and he remains in a strong position.
His contract expires in June 2022 and if he is a free agent next summer he can control his future.
United could still cash in during the January transfer window if he is not getting enough game time and there is interest.
For now Lingard will do his best to show Ole Gunnar Solskjaer he has a role to play, and also prove his critics wrong.
Lingard showed his quality at West Ham and if he can reproduce that form at Manchester United then he will be a very useful player at Old Trafford over the next few months.
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