Former Manchester United midfielder Luke Chadwick believes that Jesse Lingard has what it takes to get back into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team in the near future.
The England international had a superb loan spell at West Ham last season and is now back at Old Trafford after failing to get a permanent move away this summer.
It remains to be seen if there’s much of a chance of Man Utd using Lingard, however, as he continues to find himself on the periphery of the first-team despite being back in the England fold and continuing to look in fine form.
Chadwick admits he’s surprised Lingard didn’t stay at West Ham permanently, but he now senses there could be the chance of a fresh start for Lingard at United due to the lack of form of Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford’s injury, and Lingard’s own fine form whenever he has played.
“It’s an interesting situation, a lot of clubs were in for him but United didn’t want to accept an offer,” Chadwick told CaughtOffside. “Obviously his stock is very high after what he did at West Ham last season, so he’s in a strong position in the last year of his contract. If he doesn’t sign a new deal then I’m sure there’ll be a whole host of clubs looking at him on a free.
“He was absolutely brilliant for West Ham, one of the best players in the Premier League at that time, but hasn’t featured much for United recently. Now he’s gone away with the England squad, scored two goals, so he’s definitely at the top of his game. He’s got incredible movement, can play anywhere in attack, always a real livewire. I think United have got him in a good place right now and if he could get into the team you wouldn’t bet against him staying there.
“Martial’s off-form, Rashford’s injured, there could well be opportunities for him. He’s never let United down. He’s got nothing to lose really – if he gets into the team he can show what he can do, and if he doesn’t he won’t have trouble finding another club. It’s hard to see where he fits in, but they obviously see him as someone who could be in and around the team this season if they turned down those offers, so he’s a good squad player to have, that’s for sure.
“I expect there’d be a lot of clubs interested in him, both here and abroad, but the question is what’s best for him? I think West Ham are doing fantastic things at the moment, pushing towards the top six. Lingard did really well there and I’m surprised that deal didn’t turn permanent.”
Asked if Lingard could leave for another top six club next summer, Chadwick suggested that anyone except perhaps Manchester City would welcome the 28-year-old.
He said: “Apart from maybe Man City, you’d imagine anyone else would have a strong interest in Lingard if he was surplus to requirements at Manchester United.”