Jesse Lingard spent his entire football career with Manchester United. He joined the club at the age of seven, spent more than a decade training, and was promoted to the first team in 2011. Aside from a few loan deals, he spent all his professional career at Old Trafford. But this seems to be coming to an end after he rejected the new contract he was offered with the club.
Manchester fans and online sports betting enthusiasts probably know his name all too well. Early in his career, Lingard got many chances to prove his worth at various teams, like Leicester City (where he had his breakthrough in 2012), Birmingham, and Bright Hove & Albion before returning to Old Trafford during Louis van Gaal’s tenure. He became a regular until 2018 when Ole Gunnar Solskjær took over – after that time, he struggled to regain his place in the team.
That until he left Manchester again in a half-season loan spell at West Ham, where he regained his former form, scoring nine goals in just 16 league games.
Lingard has quite a few things to be proud of. He is one of the only three players to score in FA Cup, FA Community Shield and EFL Cup finals, he helped his team win the UEFA Europa League in the 2016-2017 season, was named the Premier League Player of the Month and scored the Premier League Goal of the Month this April while playing with the Hammers.
Lingard’s contract with Manchester United is set to expire at the end of the season – and he doesn’t have a new one in place. Actually, he rejected the new contract with the club, even though the Red Devils are the club he loved all his life. The reasons he cited are two: Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho, two of the club’s recent signings. Or rather the question of playtime he will get in the future.
Lingard narrowly missed the Euros this year – and he wants to make sure he has a place in Gareth Southgate’s squad next year.
His performance at West Ham helped him earn a recall to England’s national team. But as of now, he has spent more time playing with the Three Lions than he did playing with his club.
While Solskjær would like to keep him at the club, and Lingard would also be inclined to remain, we could very well see the player leave Old Trafford in January. And he is not short on offers either: according to various reports, both Barcelona and AC Milan are keeping tabs on him.
Now, he may either leave in the January transfer window or complete his time at Manchester United and become a free agent – the latter would likely make him a more attractive target for other clubs. The decision on which path to take will be, in turn, up to the club and the player (mostly the player).