Premier League clubs are expected to make a big splash during the January transfer window. This is particularly true of Manchester United, who currently stand in seventh place in the table after a disappointing first half of the campaign.
Much has been written about the players that United need to target if they are to improve in defence and midfield. However, there is an oft-overlooked issue with the Red Devils’ squad that needs addressing urgently.
Manchester United have too many players to accommodate, especially when it comes to attacking positions.
Why is Jesse Lingard leaving United?
Jesse Lingard’s numbers this season say it all about United’s overbooking on the front end.
The winger has played 250 minutes across all competitions and only 87 in the Premier League.
The United academy product has made the most of his limited playing time. He has scored two goals in the Premier League, including a screamer against his ex-club West Ham.
But that’s not enough for Lingard, who will turn 30 this year. A player of his quality and age should be getting consistent minutes week in week out, not sitting on the bench for months.
Playing time is exactly what West Ham gave him last year when they signed him on loan for the second half of the season. Lingard scored nine goals and assisted five times in only 16 games with the Hammers.
His West Ham spell was good enough for Gareth Southgate to include him in his provisional 33-man squad for the Euro.
However, the winger failed to make the final cut.
With his eyes set on a proper return to the national team, Jesse Lingard is now nearing a final exit from United. Because his contract ends at the end of the season, United might be happy to get him off the books for a small fee.
Every football fan thinks that it’s right for Lingard to leave United. Well, almost everyone.
Jack Wilshere to Lingard: “The grass ain’t always greener”
Former Arsenal player Jack Wilshere has advised the winger against his United exit, claiming that playing for a big club is a privilege that should not be taken for granted.
Speaking on TalkSport: “The grass ain’t always greener. I had this a few times at Arsenal with players who didn’t want to be there. Sometimes you need to sit back and look at how lucky you are to be at a big club like that and the fans…
“Alright, they’re not challenging, but it’s still a big club, and teams go there and are intimidated by that. To be on that side of the fence rather than going to them places makes a massive difference.”
In all fairness to Wilshere, he knows what he’s talking about.
One of the most promising Arsenal academy products in the past twenty years, Wilshere’s career was marred by injuries. After losing his starting spot at Arsenal in 2016, Wilshere completed a loan move to Bournemouth.
Far from reigniting his career, Wilshere’s move to Bournemouth sank him deeper into irrelevance. He would spend one more year at Arsenal, seeing decent minutes on the pitch due to his teammates’ injuries.
The midfielder would then join West Ham, for whom he played fewer than 20 total games in two years. His contract mutually terminated, Wilshere re-joined Bournemouth for a few months.
He is currently a free agent at age 30.
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