Jesse Lingard Next Club Odds: West Ham Frontrunners To Land Attacker
Two weeks after his Manchester United contract expired, Jesse Lingard is still looking for a new club - and betting sites believe the race to sign him is wide open.
Lingard has a big decision to make. His superb loan spell at West Ham United in the second half of the 2020/21 campaign sticks in the memory, but he has started an average of just nine league games per season over the last three years.
For a player who is still 29 and has ambitions of resuming his England career, that is not enough.
Lingard might not be quite at the level required to be a regular for United, but he is still a fine player on his day. Able to play off either flank or in a central role, there are plenty of managers who would welcome his inclusion in their squad.
Given that Lingard has known he would be leaving Old Trafford this summer for months, it is a little surprising that his future has still not been decided.
There could be significant movement this week though, as the start of the 2022/23 season grows ever nearer.
West Ham Hopeful Of Bringing Lingard Back To Club
A return to West Ham on a permanent basis would perhaps be the safest move - and at odds of 17/20 on football betting sites, the Hammers appear to have a decent shot of landing him.
Lingard was terrific during his four months there the campaign before last. He scored nine goals and provided four assists in 16 Premier League outings, helping David Moyes’ men qualify for Europe.
Moyes has already shown he can get the best out of Lingard, who would also get the chance to play in continental competition at the London Stadium. On paper at least, this is the move that makes most sense.
There would be risks in moving to MLS, which is also rumoured for Lingard. It would almost certainly mean the end of Lingard’s England career.
He was not part of the squad for Euro 2020, but Gareth Southgate is a fan of his and it is not impossible to envisage him earning a spot in the travelling party for Qatar if he starts next season well. That is contingent on Lingard playing in a major European league, though.
Has The Time Come For Lingard To Leave England Behind?
Despite what has been outlined above, it was clear for some time that Lingard needed a fresh start away from Manchester United.
A boyhood fan and academy graduate, it would have been hard for him to accept that his future no longer lay at Old Trafford. But Lingard’s career has stagnated in recent years and he arguably should have embarked on pastures before now.
If he really wants a break from the past, there would be worst choices than moving to the United States.
Lingard would no doubt be awarded an attractive pay packet in MLS, where he would also be much freer from pressure and scrutiny. A move across the Atlantic could help him to rediscover his love for the game.
Lingard is now just 5/1 with BetVictor to join any MLS club.
Wayne Rooney, the new DC United manager, has revealed that he has contacted the 29-year-old in a bid to persuade him to leave the Premier League behind.
Everton And Newcastle Outsiders For Now But That Could Change
Because Lingard is a free agent and there is no need for his suitors to agree a transfer fee with a selling club, we could see a team emerge from the pack quite suddenly.
Everton and Newcastle - both 6/1 on betting apps - look like outsiders right now, but it would not take much for their odds to drop significantly.
Everton have signed several former Manchester United players in recent years, including Phil Neville, Tim Howard, Darron Gibson, Tom Cleverley, Morgan Schneiderlin and the aforementioned Rooney.
Frank Lampard would appreciate Lingard’s versatility and big-club experience, among other things in his game.
Newcastle have not yet registered an interest in the 29-year-old, but Eddie Howe is still on the lookout for attacking reinforcements and Lingard’s Premier League experience is an asset for a club that has undergone significant change in the last 12 months.
Tottenham, however, do not seem to be in the race, with their odds having drifted to 20/1 on bet365.
Lingard’s work ethic, tactical understanding and capacity to play in different roles would make him a good squad player for an Antonio Conte team, but a switch to Spurs looks improbable.
Italy More Likely Continental Destination Than France Or Germany
Over the last few years we have seen an increasing willingness on the part of English players to try their hand abroad.
Two people Lingard knows well, Chris Smalling and Jadon Sancho, joined Roma and Borussia Dortmund respectively. Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori left Chelsea for Roma and AC Milan respectively, while former Manchester United attacking midfielder Angel Gomes signed for Lille in 2020.
Lingard may be open to following suit in theory, but the offers do not seem to be there.
UK bookmakers believe Serie A is the most likely European destination, with any Italian club listed at 16/1 to sign him. German and French teams are priced at 20/1, which suggests there is little chance of Lingard ending up in the Bundesliga or Ligue 1.
Reports in May stated that the England international was attracting the interest of four Serie A sides, thought to be AC Milan, Roma, Juventus and Inter.
But few stories since then have mentioned a potential move to the Italian game, so we can probably assume that the option is off the table.
As far as Lingard’s next move is concerned, it seems to be a case of the Premier League or MLS.
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