Noel Whelan slammed ‘unfair and unprofessional’ Manchester United for their treatment of Jesse Lingard and Dean Henderson after denying them moves in January.
Jesse Lingard’s impressive loan spell at West Ham in the second half of last season had given the attacking midfielder the base to dictate his future. Amid heavy interest from the Hammers in the summer, former manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer convinced the 29-year-old to stick around at Manchester United.
However, since that decision was made to snub advances from the Hammers and remain at Manchester United, Lingard has managed just 273 minutes of football across all competitions. Under Ralf Rangnick, the midfielder has been barely selected to play, which left no doubt over a January exit for the England international.
After a quiet January, the real action came in late when Newcastle United and West Ham showed serious interest in signing the attacking midfielder. With six months left on his deal and his visible lack of playing time, it was a no-brainer for Lingard to leave Manchester United, although things were beyond his control at the club.
Manchester United seemingly blocked a deadline day move to either of those Premier League sides. Stopping a movement to the Hammers is quite understandable as the London side are a rival in the top-four race. However, there are question marks over their decision not to allow him to join Newcastle United.
🚨 Jesse Lingard has been told by Man Utd he will not be allowed to leave before transfer window shuts. Despite Newcastle & West Ham pushing for #DeadlineDay loan, 29yo will stay at #MUFC + go into the final 6 months of his deal @TheAthleticUK #NUFC #WHUFC https://t.co/KkpEZjuRWZ
— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) January 31, 2022
Lingard wanted to play regularly and keep his slim hopes of getting back into the England setup for the Qatar World Cup alive. Now, he might end up spending more time warming the bench and get the minutes afforded to Donny van de Beek who left for Everton.
Henderson was also expected to depart the club after barely playing any games due to David de Gea’s impressive form this season. Like Lingard, Manchester United blocked a favourable move to Watford on the deadline day.
Henderson, too wants to get back into the England setup. The lack of game-time will harm his chances of making it to the World Cup. Moreover, he will have to be content with a place on the bench considering he will not be ousting de Gea from his position for the Premier League or the Champions League knockout games.
Former Leeds United star Noel Whelan has slammed Manchester United for their ‘unfair and unprofessional behaviour in handling the situation. He told Football Insider how the club have been treating some of their players badly.
Whelan said, “Man United have been in an absolute mess during that window. They’ve held players to ransom – Jesse Lingard and Dean Henderson in particular. It’s been really unfair and really unprofessional from the club. You expect a club of that stature to treat their players better and with a bit more respect.
“Lingard would have loved to go out and play football, but they’ve stuck to their guns and been a bit stubborn – even when the manager has said he’s happy to let him go. It’s cost them money as well in the process because they were simply holding Newcastle to ransom for a fee they were never going to get.”