Everton join the race for 28-year-old English star – The right move by Benitez?

Everton want Man United ace Jesse Lingard

Everton are the latest club to join the race for Manchester United playmaker Jesse Lingard, according to a report by The Sun (h/t Daily Mail). The English playmaker is also the subject of interest from West Ham United and Atletico Madrid.

Lingard hasn’t had a smooth time at United under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. He was loaned out to the Hammers for the second half of last season. He came through the academy at United but has been sent out on several loan spells throughout his career, including Leicester City, Birmingham, Brighton, and Derby County.

Now 28, should Rafael Benitez be the man to finally take Lingard away from Old Trafford on a permanent basis?

Everton could do with a player like Jesse Lingard

The Toffees saw Rafael Benitez come in as their new manager after Carlo Ancelotti’s departure. The Spaniard is tasked with keeping his squad together for this season after the Italian’s exit, considering the uncertainty surrounding the future of star playmaker, James Rodriguez, who was only signed by the club from Real Madrid last summer.

Jesse Lingard is on the transfer radar of Premier League sides Everton and West Ham United, and La Liga champions, Atletico Madrid.
Jesse Lingard is on the transfer radar of Premier League sides Everton and West Ham United, and La Liga champions, Atletico Madrid. (imago Images)

According to The Athletic (Subscription Required), the Colombian star is considering his future at Everton after Ancelotti’s appointment at Madrid and his time in Merseyside is ‘uncertain’. Even if he does stay, the 30-year-old’s contract expires in the summer of 2022. And the problem for them doesn’t end there.

Influential playmaker, Gylfi Sigurdsson, is one of the main men at Everton. But the Iceland international is on a deal that also expires next year. That could leave Benitez without a true number 10 in his side and could put him in a very tricky situation. And that is where Jesse Lingard could help the former Liverpool and Chelsea boss.

Lingard, at 28, has bags of experience for several English clubs throughout his career. He has played 210 games for United’s senior squad in that time and has experience playing in the Championship. Thus, in signing Lingard, Everton would potentially get a playmaker who knows about English football and has the know-how to play in the Premier League.

Jesse Lingard can play as a winger as well as a number 10.
Jesse Lingard can play as a winger as well as a number 10. (GETTY Images)

A deal for Lingard makes sense

The Englishman is also pretty versatile, which comes as a bonus for any manager. Lingard is highly adept at playing on the wings, as he has done for the majority of his career. He can play on either flank and would act as a useful cover for players such as Alex Iwobi and Andros Townsend, a player the Toffees have recently signed on a free transfer.

28-year-old Bernard, meanwhile, is linked with an exit from Goodison Park with interest coming from Russia, Greece, and United Arab Emirates (h/t Liverpool Echo). Theo Walcott also left Everton earlier this summer to join Southampton as his deal expired. That poses a situation where Benitez could even use Lingard as a starting winger.

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Another aspect of the deal that can favour Everton is the fact that Lingard is now in the final 12 months of his contract at United. That would hand the Toffees an advantage in any possible negotiations considering the Red Devils would know that failure to offload Lingard this summer means risking losing him on a free in 2022 – granted he doesn’t renew his Old Trafford deal.

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