It is rare in modern-day punditry that all ex-footballers agree on something. Usually, in order to create a debate there will be one pundit who plays the role of devil’s advocate.
But when it comes to Jesse Lingard’s future it seems everyone is offering the 28-year-old the same advice.
Namely, to leave Manchester United this summer with many agreeing that sealing a permanent move to West Ham is the best option for the star.
Since arriving at the London Stadium, even his teammates and manager have been shocked with Lingard’s quality and the speed at which he has settled into the team.
Declan Rice said : “It could have taken him a few games to get going, but he was as fit as a fiddle, he was strong, the first training session all the lads were blown back by how good he was.”
With manager David Moyes adding : “He has come in and helped the team greatly in the way he has played and also his attitude around the club, it has lifted us up.
I didn’t expect Jesse to probably get as many goals so I am really thrilled with the amount of goals he is getting at the moment and long may it continue.”
Such has been Lingard’s success at the club his value is sure to have skyrocketed and the Hammers will not be the only interested party in signing him in the summer transfer window.
Arsenal are the latest club to have been linked with a move for the England international but Rio Ferdinand for one thinks that would be a bad move and one the Arsenal fanbase would not accept.
“Yeah but you know what, they [Arsenal fans] wouldn’t have him there,” Ferdinand said on his FIVE YouTube channel.
“The way he moonwalked off that pitch once, they wouldn’t have it. The fans would rip the place apart. He disrespected the Emirates in a way that hadn’t been seen.
“Listen West Ham will have a fight to get him by the way because I think other teams are going to be like: ‘Listen, we want him!’
“He’s not going to go to Arsenal over West Ham obviously, but there will be other teams. He ain’t going nowhere near Arsenal.”
Ferdinand is not the only ex-player to have had his say on Lingard’s future. Writing in the Daily Mail Peter Crouch said:
“Personally, I believe Jesse would be better off leaving. He is playing with the shackles off at a club where he is wanted. Why would he jeopardise that by taking the chance of returning to United and finding out a few months down the line that he is a bit-part player?
“Suddenly the old mentality would creep in, the doubts, and all the good work would go out. This fresh start has been fantastic for Lingard. It has also done him good getting away from the scrutiny in Manchester. I hope West Ham get that deal over the line.”
Paul Merson is another who thinks a return to Old Trafford would be a mistake for the England man: “I don’t see him going back to Manchester United,” Merson told Sky Sports.
“He wants to play football. He’s gone to West Ham to play football, now he’s got the love back a bit.
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“He lost a little bit of the love of the football, I think he lost his way a little bit. Now he’s loving football again, he’s playing. You want to play every week. There’s no point him going back to Manchester United and playing in the Carabao Cup games.”
Former Manchester United star Andrew Cole has also added his opinion on the player’s future saying : “I think if I was Manchester United, I would move him on. And if I was Jesse I would want to go and play games. Definitely.”
With just one year left on his Manchester United contract, Lingard is sure to be a man in demand. But after the player admitted his move to the Hammers was because of Moyes’ influence, West Ham are in pole position to provide the England international with a permanent new home.