Following Jesse Lingard’s fine loan stint with fellow Premier League side West Ham, Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said that he would welcome him back to the club.
On 29th January 2021, Lingard joined West Ham on loan for the remainder of the season after struggling for regular first-team football at United. The move has done the 28 year old the world of good and allowed him to find his form and remind his club of his talent. Another person who has been reminded of the talent Lingard possesses is Gareth Southgate who recalled him into the England squad after a break of almost two years. Lingard featured in all three of England’s World Cup qualifying matches played in March and providing he can keep fit and retain his current form, he stands a good chance of being part of Southgate’s squad for the upcoming Euro 2020 tournament. England are currently favourites to win the postposed European Championships and are priced at around 5/1 with several bookmakers such as Betfair Sportsbook that offers up to £100 in free bets to new customers.
Lingard has made 9 appearances for the Hammers since joining the club on loan at the end of January and has found the net 8 times. He has also provided 3 assists and played a major role in driving West Ham up to fourth in the table; a place that manager David Moyes will hope to retain to secure European football for the club next season.
Lingard’s future is currently uncertain. West Ham will surely hope to bid to retain his services on a permanent basis but they will also have to fight off competition from Arsenal and Ligue 1 side, Paris Saint-Germain providing that Manchester United let him go. However, Lingard’s future may be in his own hands as his contract with United is due to expire at the end of next season. Whether he’ll opt to extend his contract with his boyhood club, should he be offered one, will be a decision he has to make when and if it comes? Considering Lingard didn’t start a league game with United for 399 days prior to moving to West Ham, it wouldn’t be surprising if he is seriously considering his options come the end of next season. There could very well be several other clubs interested in his services should he feature for England at the European Championships and perform like he has done for West Ham.
In a news conference before Manchester United’s quarter-final Europa League clash against La Liga side Grenada, Solskjaer said:
“Jesse has been brilliant since he left and I’ve answered this quite a few times,”
“Selfishly we could have kept him because he’s always got a part to play.
“Jesse is a fantastic lad around the place, Man United through and through, never once did he moan or cause me a problem.
“He just came in, worked really hard and deserved a chance to play more football. That’s why we let him go to West Ham because he deserved a chance for what he’s done throughout his life at Man United.
“Of course we welcome him back. I hope he will go to the Euros because with his performances now and the confidence he’s got, I don’t think that’s beyond him.
“I hope he’s got a strong finish to the league. It was different here, the form Bruno [Fernandes] has played in arguably in Jesse’s favoured position.
“That was just a decision that we made. Delighted though for Jesse and wish him all the best for the rest of the season until he comes back.”
Given that Bruno Fernandes has played a huge part in Man Utd’s success this season, whether Lingard will want to remain as a United player and fight for a first-team place is up for debate. His loan spell at West Ham these past few months will surely have given him a taste of first-team football that he will be reluctant to give up and allowed him to showcase his talents that have earned him a much deserved England call up.