The next move that Jesse Lingard makes is likely to be one of the most important he will have made to date.
Not only will any new contract be likely see him through to the back end of his professional career, but it could also determine whether his World Cup aspirations are realised or if he is once again left out of the England squad ahead of a major tournament.
To that end, the 28-year-old has no room for error and has to make exactly the right judgment call.
Something that he clearly didn’t do by returning to Manchester United after an incredible half-season at West Ham United.
According to Football Insider, Everton are one of a clutch of clubs which includes the Hammers and Newcastle United who are willing to acquire the attacking midfielder’s services when his contract with the Red Devils finishes at the end of the current campaign.
The report details that the Toffees would be favourites for his signature as he wishes to remain in the north west.
That’s as maybe, but home comforts have to play second fiddle to career progression at this point.
The project at Everton is bubbling along nicely under Rafael Benitez but they’re still a work in progress. Ditto the scenario at Newcastle.
If he’s not able to regain his place in Man United’s first-team, then surely a return to the London Stadium under David Moyes, where he already knows the system and where he’ll play within it, is preferable.
The Hammers are getting better and better under the Scot and Lingard’s goals were a major reason why they’re contesting the Europa League, a competition in which they look a reasonable bet for success if their current form continues.
He’s well liked in the dressing room and won’t have to ‘start again from scratch.’ Frankly, it’s a no brainer.