After finding himself out of the picture at Manchester United for the first half of the season, it was always likely that Jesse Lingard would leave Old Trafford during the January transfer window in pursuit of more regular first-team football.
What was not so likely, however, was just how big an impact he would have at his new club.
Since joining West Ham United on loan for the remainder of the season towards the end of the January window, the England international has not looked back, quickly finding himself in the form of his life.
Since being reunited with David Moyes at the London Stadium, Lingard has racked up nine appearances in the Premier League, netting eight goals and claiming four assists.
Those figures make outstanding reading and then some. Nobody would have predicted Lingard to have such a telling impact.
But whilst West Ham may be enjoying the goods they are receiving from Lingard right now, it could be a hammer-blow in their hopes of signing him on a permanent basis this summer, with his form having going to have alerted other clubs to potentially looking into the prospect of signing him this summer.
One of the clubs reported to be in the race for his services is Arsenal.
The Gunners are likely to be on the hunt for a new attacking-midfielder this forthcoming summer with Martin Odegaard’s loan deal poised to expire and Lingard, based on his current rich vein of form, could be just the ticket.
According to a report by the Evening Standard, Arsenal would be willing to turn to Lingard if their hopes of signing Odegaard this summer fail. However, it is claimed that Manchester United have not given any clues as to whether or not they wish to retain the former Birmingham City loanee’s services this summer or move him on on a permanent basis.
But should United be open to the idea of offloading Lingard this summer, they have changed the goalposts in how big a fee they want for his services. According to a report by the Mirror, United, at the time of Lingard joining West Ham, were only looking for a fee of around £10million to sell him on a permanent deal.
Now, because of the England star’s dazzling form, they want a price of somewhere in the region of £30million, meaning his value has soared as a result of his recent run of form.
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Whether or not Arsenal are willing to send £30million in United’s direction this summer in the hope of sealing a deal for the midfielder, of course, remains to be seen. Finances could be tight this summer because of the pandemic which has stopped the turnstiles from turning at the Emirates Stadium for more than 12 months.
However, although reports linking Lingard with a move to north London right now is purely speculation, Lingard has delivered a one-word verdict on the Emirates Stadium in the past whilst playing for United.
After scoring, Lingard uploaded an image to his Instagram page of him celebrating and named the location as the “Dancefloor.” That could certainly add a sense of intrigue and excitement to this rumour.