Sunday, June 26, 2022

Manchester United Try To Keep Englishman Amid Barcelona Interest: Should Ole Let Him Leave?

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Jack O’Brien
A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.

According to Daily Mail, Barcelona are in pole position to sign Jesse Lingard. The Manchester United playmaker has become a hot prospect in the market after he reportedly rejected the club’s contract approach. Barcelona and AC Milan are the two clubs in pole position to acquire the Englishman for a free transfer next summer as his current contract at Old Trafford expires at the end of the season.

Jesse Lingard’s Difficult Season At Manchester United So Far

Jesse Lingard rose to prominence once again during his short spell on loan at West Ham last season. Under the tutelage of ex-United manager David Moyes, the attacker was involved in 14 goals in just 16 league matches, even helping the Hammers secure a place in the UEFA Europa League.

But instead of prolonging his stay in London, Lingard opted to return to Manchester United in the summer and fight for his place in the first team. Unfortunately, the move hasn’t paid off all too well for the attacker, who is struggling with game-time in this new season.

Bruno Fernandes has been an indispensable figure in Man United’s starting eleven while Paul Pogba is finally living up to his unfulfilled potential this term. It has left Lingard trailing in the pecking order, with the Englishman securing only 136 minutes of football in all competitions.

The former Derby County starlet has been involved in three goals in six appearances, but he is certainly not a guaranteed starter in the team regardless of his performances in the final third.

Barcelona are in pole position to sign Jesse Lingard - Does he have any future?
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 11: Jesse Lingard of Manchester United celebrates with Paul Pogba after scoring their side’s fourth goal during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Newcastle United at Old Trafford on September 11, 2021 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
The 4th Official uses images provided by the following image agency: Getty Images (https://www.gettyimages.de/) and Imago Images (https://www.imago-images.de/)

What Should Be Man United’s Play Here?

Manchester United face a precarious situation with Jesse Lingard. It is apparent that the Englishman is not favoured much by Ole-Gunnar Soslkjaer, largely due to the quality he has in the final third.

A move away from Old Trafford, therefore, will unquestionably be the logical option for the player. But for the club, it would perhaps be wiser to see him off in the upcoming January transfer window.

As mentioned earlier, Lingard’s current contract at Old Trafford expires at the end of the season, which means he will be available on a free transfer next season. On that note, Manchester United should try everything they can to offload him in January, as it could serve as a potential financial boost, however small.

At the same time, though, a lot could depend on the future of Donny van de Beek. There is no doubt that coach Solskjaer is anxious about the team’s lack of depth in the creative department and with Pogba’s contract expiring at the end of the season, he will be cautious of offloading multiple attacking midfielders in January.

To put simply, the event of van de Beek’s potential departure should see Lingard spend six more months at Old Trafford, which might not be ideal for any of the parties involved.

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