In a recent interview with Football Insider, pundit Kevin Phillips revealed that he expects West Ham United to face competition for Manchester United playmaker Jesse Lingard in January. Phillips said,
“It’s still a no brainer.
“We all know his game time will be limited at Old Trafford and I don’t think he’ll sign a new deal.
“He will probably let his contract run down and he could go in January or wait for West Ham in the summer.
“Then he can demand even more wages and plenty of clubs can one-up each other then. So that might be the best move for him.
“Once it gets to January there will be other clubs interested, I’m sure. I wouldn’t say the writing is on the wall but it’s clear it’s time for Lingard to move on.
“He would still be a massive signing for Moyes.”
Lingard’s Impressive Loan Spell At The London Stadium
Lingard had a brilliant loan spell with the Hammers in the previous campaign as he managed to catch the eye by producing a run of productive performances for them in the final third. The England international registered nine goals and five assists in 16 matches for the East London giants last season on all fronts.
The Warrington-born sensation was a consistent performer as a key member of David Moyes’ attack after he averaged 2.6 shots, 1.1 key passes and 1.1 dribbles per game in the previous Premier League campaign. He even distributed possession with conviction based on his pass completion rate of 83.6% in league football (stats via whoscored).
Should The Hammers Step Up Their Pursuit Of Lingard?
Lingard has proven himself to be a decent playmaker over the past 12 months. He also scored a handful of important goals for West Ham in the Premier League last season which goes to show that Moyes can get the best out of him at the English capital.
The 31-time England international can be a joy to watch when he is dribbling at full swing towards the opponent’s penalty box. However, the lack of regular first-team starts has hampered his growth at Old Trafford, so the player has no reason to pen a new deal with Man United unless his current situation changes for the better.
Moyes would be wise to step up his pursuit of Lingard as he cannot afford to go on a bidding war with other clubs for him during the January transfer window. The Hammers need to re-sign the English talent if they want to make a strong push for a top-six finish in the English top-flight next year. At 28, Lingard is playing at his prime at the moment, so Moyes can expect him to hit the ground running if he can find a way to bring the Man United playmaker back to the London Stadium this winter or at the end of this campaign.