Gary Neville: "Manchester United might want Jesse Lingard back at Old Trafford"; West Ham do not have an option to buy Lingard in the current loan deal but want to secure the player on a permanent transfer
Wednesday 7 April 2021 14:56, UK
West Ham will do whatever it takes to try and sign Jesse Lingard from Manchester United permanently this summer.
Lingard moved to West Ham in January on loan until the end of the season and the club do not have an option to buy.
But the club have been delighted with Lingard's performances and want to sign him permanently.
Lingard has scored six goals in eight league games to help West Ham into fourth place in the Premier League.
The 28-year-old's performances have also led to him being called up to the England squad for the first time in 18 months.
Lingard starred in West Ham's 3-2 win at Wolves on Monday night, dribbling 60 yards to score their opening goal and playing a crucial part in their second.
"He does an incredible amount of running," Gary Neville told Monday Night Football. "It's what he does. He's good out of possession and good in possession.
"At Manchester United. because there is that expectation of what you need to be, to be a wide player there, he's always going to get a difficult press.
"But if he was playing in a world-class team, if he was, say, Ji-Sung Park 10 years ago playing with Ronaldo and Rooney, doing that supplementary role, then people would be saying he's perfect for this squad.
"The problem is he was not playing in Manchester United teams as good as that, so he gets a bit of stick.
"He's a really good player. He's going to have a great career. Manchester United have sent him out to West Ham to boost his career, maybe with the thought of boosting his price tag, but they might be thinking, 'actually, we might want him back, he could be a real help to us'.
"If Jesse wants to play, and you can see he does want to play, then he needs to leave, because he's not going to play every single week for a Manchester United team that's competing for second or first place in the league.
"But if he's willing to go back there and compete and be the player that Dan James has been for the last few weeks, in and out, then there's no doubt he can play for Manchester United."
Speaking after the victory over Wolves, Lingard told Sky Sports his good form is down to "consistency".
"I have not played much in the last two years so to play week in week out is good," he said. "The team help me."
Asked about West Ham's chances of finishing in the top four, Lingard added: "It is about maintaining and keeping focus.
"We have tough fixtures, but the lads are ready."