West Ham United are too much of a threat in the race for the top four this season for Manchester United to have allowed Jesse Lingard to join them.
That’s the view of ex-Red Devil and ex-Hammer Luke Chadwick, who spoke exclusively to CaughtOffside about the Lingard situation yesterday after a dramatic deadline day.
Lingard was linked with a move away from Man Utd for much of January, but ended up staying put as there were reported fears inside Old Trafford about strengthening a top four rival.
Chadwick feels this is an understandable decision from his former club, even though he admits he also feels bad for Lingard being denied the chance to play in a World Cup year.
“I’ve no idea of the ins and outs of it, but you can understand with a move to West Ham, if he performed like he did last season and they end up in fourth at the expense of United, you can understand why they didn’t want him to move,” Chadwick told CaughtOffside.
“It sounds like he had his heart set on West Ham rather than Newcastle, but it’s strange that it was on and off again a few times.
“It’s tough for him, I’m sure he would’ve wanted to play more games in a World Cup year. He forced himself back into the England squad with how he played at West Ham last season.”
West Ham fans will no doubt be disappointed that this deal never materialised, but they can perhaps also take it as a compliment as United clearly see them as the real deal in terms of the battle for a Champions League place.