Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has sanctioned a deal that can solve Manchester United’s problem position – news.Paperlez on Manchester United evening News
For all the jubilation surrounding Jesse Lingard’s return to the Premier League spotlight, it’s Manchester United that look set to benefit most.
The Englishman’s terrific form on loan at West Ham United has earned him a recall to the England squad for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers after scoring five goals in seven appearances for David Moyes’ side.
Lingard’s loan move suited all parties. The 28-year-old had fallen into the wilderness at Old Trafford and hadn’t started a Premier League game for over a year under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
With his career at a standstill, credit must go to Lingard for engineering a temporary move away from his boyhood club, which has been a fabric of his life since after progressing through the ranks of the United academy.
Lingard’s current terms at Old Trafford expire at the end of next season. Despite his current form, it’s difficult to envisage a way back into the first-team, given the plethora of options available to Solskjaer in the Englishman’s preferred advanced midfield role.
Equally, it’s just as tricky to imagine that Lingard would be willing to sit on the bench and in the stands, entering his prime years. A summer sale makes sense for both parties.
Lingard’s form at West Ham has only driven up his price, with potential suitors likely to pay anywhere upwards of £25million for his services, you’d imagine, given his age, contract status and pedigree.
Right-wing has been a problem position for Manchester United for a long time. Mason Greenwood’s erratic form – an important reminder he remains only 19 – has seen Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford forced to play on the right, which has often made United’s attack look unbalanced.
MEN Sport understands that a striker and centre-back are Solskjaer’s high priority signings this summer, with Erling Haaland and Pau Torres two players on their shortlist.
Whilst United may initially only have the funds to bankroll one marquee addition, with any move for Haaland likely to cost a nine-figure fee, the sale of Lingard could generate a substantial portion towards solving their winger woes.
Pedro Goncalves has been linked with a move to United in the media recently and with Juan Mata seemingly set to leave the club this summer, he could be the ideal replacement.
Goncalves is reported to hold a £51.3million release clause in his contract and the sale of Lingard could offer a massive discount on the amount United would need to generate to meet that figure. Any deal for Raphinha at Leeds United, who has also been linked, would cost a similar sum.
Sign up for news.Paperlez.com
United fans have been delighted by Lingard’s resurgence and his contributions on the field over the year shouldn’t be underestimated.
Come the summer, though, he could hold the key for the club to finally solve their problem position out wide, which would be a fitting end to Lingard’s Manchester United career.