Why Aston Villa should avoid playing a gamble on Jesse Lingard
The 28-year-old is yet to feature for the Red Devils in the Premier League this season and has been restricted to just a couple of appearances in the EFL Cup. It has been claimed that the England international is ready to call time upon his floundering career at Old Trafford and is open to seeking greener pastures this month.
Lingard had only six months remaining on his contract but United have taken up the option to extend his stay by a further 12 months. That has put the Red Devils in a much stronger position to demand a bigger fee for the attacking midfielder should they opt to cash in on him in January. (h/t Birmingham Mail)
A youth exponent of Manchester United, Lingard established himself in the Red Devils’ first-team during the 2015-16 season after loan spells at Leicester City, Brighton, Birmingham City and Derby County in the Championship. He has been a key squad player for the club over the past five years but hasn’t really been able to hit the heights that his early potential indicated.
Meanwhile, Aston Villa currently sit 8th in the standings after a very promising start to the campaign. The Villans have accumulated 26 points from 15 games so far, registering 8 wins and 2 draws in the process. That has left them just three points shy of fourth-placed Tottenham with Dean Smith’s side having a game in hand to close the gap.
The Villans, to that end, should definitely have one eye on some fresh additions to their squad in the winter market to consolidate on their bright start, and possibly push for a fairytale return to Europe. A tally of 29 goals scored and just 16 conceded clearly shows that Villa have fared well at both ends of the pitch. However, bringing in new players would allow them to progress in the right direction.
Having said that, though, Jesse Lingard isn’t the kind of player Aston Villa should look to target in the January window. The diminutive playmaker’s career has been in a downward spiral ever since the 2018 World Cup, with Lingard offering very little at Manchester United in the Premier League. Barring a 13-goal haul in all competitions during the 2017-18 season, the midfielder has done very little to justify his potential.
Truth be told, Villa aren’t really crying out for a new attacking midfielder after spending heavily to bolster their attack over the past 18 months. Smith already has two players like Jack Grealish and John McGinn competing for the No.10 role while Chelsea loanee Ross Barkley has also added a new dimension to the club’s creative lines.
With Chelsea opening the door for Villa to weigh up a permanent deal for Barkley, the Midlands outfit certainly don’t need to take a punt on a struggling player like Lingard this month. Barkley fits the bill as a dynamic, hardworking, creative midfielder and would certainly offer better value for money as compared to Lingard as far as Villa are concerned.
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Suffice to say, Aston Villa need to look at better options in the market if they are to push for greater heights in the Premier League. Jesse Lingard is still a very decent player but would hardly represent a genuine upgrade on Villa’s current creative options.