Why Manchester United should offload Jesse Lingard immediately
The 27-year-old attacking midfielder has had limited game time after falling down the pecking order under new boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. However, Lingard still has one year left in his £100,000-a-week deal at Old Trafford.
The United academy graduate has not started a single game for the Red Devils since their 2-0 defeat to Arsenal on New Year’s Day. Lingard has fallen down the pecking order since the arrival of new boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and has featured in just 22 of their league games, most of them as a substitute.
Nevertheless, he was on the scoresheet in their last league match against Leicester City, which helped them finish on a top-four spot and ensured Champions League qualification. The report also claims that United have an option to extend his contract by another year. However, it looks hugely unlikely.
Lingard surplus to requirements at Manchester United
Meanwhile, United under Solskjaer finished third in the league this season after making some significant additions to their side in the last two transfer windows. The arrival of Portuguese playmaker Bruno Fernandes in January saw United improve drastically, winning nine of their last 14 Premier League games and finishing in the top three.
Fernandes, who has played all of United’s last 14 league games, has been key to the side’s progress and has excelled with 8 goals and 7 assists in the process. Having proved himself at such short notice, Fernandes has become one of the first names on the team sheet, pushing other attacking midfielders such as Lingard and veteran Juan Mata out of starting contention.
Apart from Fernandes, Lingard, and Mata, United also have Brazilian Andreas Pereira in the playmaker’s role, suggesting that they have enough back-up in that position. With Fernandes establishing himself as the side’s first-choice midfielder and two others in the queue, it seems like Lingard’s chances of first-team opportunities will be very limited in the coming days.
Moreover, his performances in recent times have been far from impressive. Lingard has just managed three goals and two assists across all competitions, suggesting a clear dip in form. Considering all this, Manchester United’s decision to sell Lingard seems like a step in the right direction.
The Red Devils could save a lot of time and money by offloading him as he clearly looks surplus to the club’s requirements. They can at least use that money to strengthen areas that need real improvement.
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Manchester United have enough depth in attacking-midfield and letting go of an out-of-favour player like Lingard wouldn’t affect them. Moreover, his performances have deteriorated with time and it is no big surprise he has fallen down the ranks at Old Trafford. That said, United should sell him soon rather than keep him in the side unnecessarily.