Gary Neville has expressed his disappointment that Manchester United attacker, Jesse Lingard, didn’t secure a move away from his boyhood club this summer.
Lingard revitalised his career last season on loan at West Ham, making 16 appearances and recording nine goals and five assists.
This form saw him come within a whisker of making the England squad for the European Championships, something that was inconceivable a few months prior.
After rumours persisted all summer that a return to The London Stadium was on the cards, the Hammers eventually spent around £25 million on Croatian midfielder Nikola Vlasic instead.
Neville had the following to say to Sky Sports:
“I would actually have thought that a couple more players at Manchester United [would have left]. I’m disappointed for Jesse Lingard that he’s not left Manchester United.”
“He’ll get a few games, he’ll get moments on the pitch, he’ll contribute, but I think he had something going at West Ham last year that meant Jesse Lingard in his own right was standing up as a really good player.”
“To go back to being a squad player again I think, for me, is disappointing. I think you sometimes have to sort of fly the nest and go. I thought he’d already done that with what he did last year.”
West Ham’s interest was no secret and David Moyes’ assistant, Stuart Pearce, said the following to Talk Sport:
“We would like him to come and join us. That has been an open secret. He was wonderful last year.”
“He’s a special lad and was very good around the players – the players really like him, his ability shone out last year and gave us a great option in our squad.”
Lingard will likely be behind Bruno Fernandes, Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford, Paul Pogba and Mason Greenwood in either his preferred number ten role or out wide.
While he offers brilliant depth, it does seem a move for Jesse at this point of his career would have been the best option for all involved.