West Ham have completed the signing of Jesse Lingard on loan until the end of the season, but can the move help reignite his career for England and Manchester United? The Transfer Talk podcast discuss...
The 28-year-old midfielder has fallen down the pecking order at Old Trafford and is yet to make a Premier League appearance this campaign.
It is understood Newcastle and West Brom approached Lingard's representatives about taking him on loan, but the 28-year-old rejected their offers.
He has now joined West Ham for the remainder of the season as he looks to steer his career back on track, with Sky Sports News reporter Dharmesh Sheth reporting that Lingard wants to play regularly again and rediscover his form.
He told the latest Transfer Talk podcast: "There was always a willingness between all parties to get this one over the line. The big stumbling block as late as Thursday night was the loan fee. Man Utd were not budging on a fee of £1.5m, West Ham felt that was too excessive.
"If you add Lingard's wages onto that, you're talking a deal for over £3m for effectively less than four months at a football club. But Man Utd weren't budging and West Ham have finally relented and decided to pay the full fee, they really do want Lingard at the London Stadium.
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"It seems to be a good deal for all parties when you look at it. Lingard, hopefully for his sake, will get regular first team football and West Ham can try and get the best out of him, perhaps the form that sent him to the World Cup in Russia with England.
"If that happens, then Lingard returns to Man Utd and either one of two things happen: he resurrects his career at Man Utd, which would be great for the club and Lingard, or he puts himself on the market in the summer and Man Utd would probably get a higher fee than if they were to sell him now without having any Premier League football this season.
"I've spoken to someone close to Lingard this week and he says that Lingard is very thankful to Man Utd for facilitating the move and supporting him as well. Now all he wants to do is show what he can do, play well, player regularly and return in the summer to then give Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Man Utd a decision to make, which they maybe didn't think they'd have to.
"They probably thought Lingard would be on his way out because as far as I'm aware, he doesn't think his Man Utd career is over. It may look that way at the moment because they're sending him out on loan, but as far as he's concerned, he wants to do the best he can and maybe, you never know, go back to Man Utd and be a regular there once again."
With Gareth Southgate set to name his Euro 2020 squad in the next few months, European football writer Tom Williams says Lingard has a huge task on his hands to book himself a place.
He added: "He'll have to play regularly and play very well because if you look at the competition for places in that England squad in that area of the pitch - Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, Raheem Sterling, Jack Grealish, Mason Mount, Phil Foden, James Maddison - they're all ahead of Lingard in the queue and quite a distance ahead of him. So it's going to take quite a spectacular end to the season for him to force his way back into the England squad.
"But he was one of the key figures in England's run to the semi-finals of the World Cup in 2018, Gareth Southgate knows him from his time as England U21 manager, he trusts him and selected him at times when his form at Man Utd wasn't that great and people were questioning why Lingard was still getting picked.
"He has shown Lingard loyalty in the past but the players who have emerged over the last two years means it's going to take a pretty spectacular end to the season for Lingard to put himself into the reckoning for an England call-up again."
'West Ham still targeting a striker'
West Ham's main focus in January has been up front, with Sebastian Haller departing for Ajax early in the window. Despite Lingard's arrival, West Ham still want to bring in a striker, according to Sheth.
He said: "Lingard coming in doesn't mean they won't get a striker, or at least be in the market for one. The thing with West Ham this month is they've been offered countless numbers of strikers - it's gone into double figures.
"Pre-David Moyes, I think West Ham would probably have taken a punt on one of these strikers they've been offered but things have changed under Moyes. He's in charge of transfers now and has a huge say on who arrives into the club and who doesn't and he tends to take a more cautious approach than perhaps his predecessors. He wants to be 100 per cent sure before he signs anyone, be it the playing ability and also the character of the player as well.
"He said this week that if they don't bring in a striker in this window, it won't be the end of the world, they will cope and they'll just have to play players in different positions. If Michail Antonio is the focal point of your attack and he gets injured, someone like Andriy Yarmolenko can play down the middle.
"He has got other options in his squad and in an ideal scenario, he would want to bring in his first choice - whoever that may be - but if it doesn't happen in this transfer window, Moyes won't think it's a disaster. He'll simply just say 'we'll wait until the summer until I get the right player'.
"As far as funds are concerned, the board are willing to back him. We're told he's got £20m to £30m to spend in this transfer window should he want to bring someone in. Coincidentally, that's how much they offered Sevilla for Youssef El-Nesyri, but it looks like he's staying in Spain.
"There was also an interesting in RB Leipzig's Hee-chan Hwang, but as it stands, Moyes says they will solve any issues they have not bringing in a striker with the options they have within their squad."
The winter transfer window is open until Monday February 1 at 11pm.
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