Jesse Lingard reportedly told West Ham that he did not want to return to the London Stadium as he wished to fight for his place at Manchester United.
According to a report from 90min.com, West Ham United did not make a late bid for Jesse Lingard in the summer transfer window after the midfielder turned down their approaches as he wished to stay at Old Trafford and fight for his place.
The 28-year-old enjoyed a hugely successful loan stint at the London Stadium in the second half of the last campaign. His performances proved vital for the Irons to secure European football, while, the player himself resurrected his falling career.
Lingard netted nine goals and registered five assists in 16 appearances made for the East London outfit. His red-hot meant that Lingard was in conversations to make the final England Euro 2020 squad, but failed to make the final cut. He was most recently called up for the World Cup Qualifiers.
With the 2022 Qatar World Cup upcoming next winter, one would imagine that Lingard’s priority would be to play regular football to showcase his pedigree to Gareth Southgate and have a better chance to make the final squad. The England international was strongly linked with a permanent switch to the London Stadium throughout the summer, but the transfer window ended with the forward still at Old Trafford.
However, the playmaker decided to stay with Manchester United beyond the summer transfer window and fight for a place, which surprised the West Ham coaching staff, who were desperate for his return. They understood it would strengthen their squad to push hard on all fronts, domestically and in Europe.
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has earlier expressed that Lingard is a quality player he admires a lot and will want to utilize him in an important role in his squad. Despite Lingard’s tremendous versatility, it will be tough for him to force his way into starting XI ahead of the likes of Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood, Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial.
Lingard also drew attention from European giants such as Atletico Madrid and Inter Milan during the summer transfer window. To some extent, his decision may be a correct one as he only has less than a year remaining on his current United deal, he can stay and prove his worth to earn a new contract, and if it doesn’t work out in six months time he can sign for his favourable club on a pre-contract arrangement.
West Ham, meanwhile, moved to other alternatives and completed the signing of Croatian midfielder Nikola Vlasic in a deal that could cost over £25 million. They also signed young Czech Republic international Alex Kral in a low-risk loan with an option-to-buy to further bolster their midfield roster.