The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at Jesse Lingard’s prospects in the summer as the Manchester United star considers the next step in his career.
Jesse Lingard is seemingly becoming the latest sensation in this season’s Premier League, having enjoyed immense success since joining West Ham United on loan from Manchester United in the January transfer window.
The Englishman has revived his career, having been involved in 12 goals since his move to London – more than any other Premier League player during the time period. It has not only helped him gain a return to the English national side, but he is also favoured to make the squad for the upcoming European Championships.
Such success is sure to make Lingard a hot prospect in the upcoming summer transfer window, with the player now caught between various options as he seeks to take the next step in his career. Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will take a look at Lingard’s prospects this coming summer and what the future could hold for the talented Englishman over the new three-four months.
Time to resurrect his Manchester United career?
Jesse Lingard’s loan spell at West Ham United expires at the end of the season, with the Hammers having no option to buy him outright. It means the English forward is most likely to return to Old Trafford in the summer, giving Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as well as the player himself, a valuable decision to make.
There is no secret that Solskjaer was never really keen on offloading Lingard amid fears regarding his squad’s lack of depth in the attacking unit. Those fears could still be relevant in the summer as the Red Devils look to offload Juventus-linked Donny van be Beek while Juan Mata is currently in the final phase of his career.
It should offer Lingard an opportunity to try and resurrect his Manchester United career by prolonging his stay Old Trafford. However, a path back to Manchester will be a difficult one, knowing the quality United have in their ranks, as far as the creative unit is concerned.
Bruno Fernandes, in particular, is almost untouchable and while Lingard can play out wide, he is unlikely triumph over Marcus Rashford and perhaps a new winger, with Jadon Sancho an increasingly likely option. Manchester United themselves are far more likely to cash in on Lingard this summer, knowing his contract expires at the end of next season. It could, however, open up a path for the player to explore other options.
A permanent move to West Ham United?
Recent reports suggest that West Ham are ready to go all out in the pursuit of Jesse Lingard. Their manager, former Manchester United boss David Moyes, is determined to retain his services heading into next season and is hoping to build the squad around him, with a few more additions in the upcoming summer transfer window.
— Premier League (@premierleague) April 11, 2021
Lingard has indeed been a revelation under the leadership of the ex-Manchester United manager, who has given him the freedom to play his natural game in the no. 10 role. He has also had the support of Jarron Bowen, Arthur Masuaku, Pablo Fornals and Michail Antonio, establishing an excellent connection with all of the attackers in a short span of time.
A permanent move to West Ham, therefore, is indeed an appealing option for Jesse Lingard as he hopes to continue his progress in the Premier League. He is already a valued asset for the club and could continue to flourish under the management of Moyes as well as the support of his current attacking teammates.
West Ham’s counter-attacking game is also much more suited to Lingard’s style of play. It was one of the key reasons why the Englishman used to thrive under Jose Mourinho, but struggled ever since he left Manchester United. In addition, with West Ham also in contention to qualify for the UEFA Europa League at the very least, if not the Champions League, Lingard could have another appealing factor to stay put in London.
What other options does Lingard have?
Speaking of Mourinho, Tottenham Hotspur, along with arch-rivals Arsenal, are among the other top clubs in England who are in the hunt for a new no. 10 in the summer.
Tottenham are braced to lose Dele Alli at the end of the season while Arsenal are hoping to find alternatives, should they miss out on their pursuit of Martin Odegaard, who is currently on loan from Real Madrid.
Quite astonishingly, though, it appears Spanish giants Real Madrid, too, have entered the race to sign Lingard this summer, with Zinedine Zidane keen on bolstering his options in the attacking unit this summer.
Lingard, it seems, is being courted as a replacement for Isco. His style of play would ideally suit Zidane’s counter-attacking setup while Arsenal might be a risky move as the Gunners prefer more technical football.
Leicester City, too, have been linked with a move for the 28-year-old Manchester United star recently, with the Foxes ready to offer him a first-team role at the King Power Stadium next season. Leicester might not be a bad destination as they do sort of lack creative options apart from James Maddison and Cengiz Under, whose loan deal expires at the end of the season.
Other potential suitors for Lingard include Paris Saint-Germain and Inter Milan, with the Nerazzurri making a strong case due to the strong contingency of ex-Manchester United players including Romelu Lukaku, Ashley Young, Matteo Darmian and Alexis Sanchez.
However, a prolonged stay at West Ham seems like the best option for Lingard ahead of next season. The Manchester United loanee has settled in well in London and is only bound to improve in the upcoming campaign, with the Hammers also offering the opportunity of potentially playing in Europe next season.
The next best option for Lingard would be a move to Tottenham as it would see him reunite with Jose Mourinho. However, the Englishman could struggle with a lack of game-time, as Spurs boast the services of an abundance of talented creators like Son Heung-min, Erik Lamela, Lucas Moura and Giovani Lo Celso.