West Ham United signed Jesse Lingard on loan in January 2021 and wanted the 29-year-old on a permanent deal after he impressed at the London Stadium, but their efforts were rebuffed by the player himself as he wanted to fight for a place at Manchester United.
Ex-manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reportedly wanted to keep Lingard too, despite having Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes, Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo.
The decision has backfired as Lingard has spent the season on the periphery while being refused a move in January as Ralf Rangnick needed the England international as cover.
After missing out on the 29-year-old last summer, West Ham signed Nikola Vlasic for £27m from CSKA Moscow, so that money should have been for Man Utd.
Lingard scored nine goals with five assists in 16 games for West Ham (January 2021 – May 2021) and nearly earned a place in England’s Euro 2020 squad. But after returning to Old Trafford, the playmaker has made 22 appearances in all competitions, scoring just two goals with only one assist.
He’s amassed less than 550 minutes of playing time across the board too, so it wasn’t the right decision to stay in Manchester. Lingard is now unlikely to make the England squad for the 2022 World Cup and must be regretting not joining West Ham.
The Londoners are only one place and two points worse off then Man Utd in the Premier League and could go above them if they win their game in hand. Lingard will get the chance to leave this summer as his contract is up in the coming weeks, but United won’t make any money for it.
The Red Devils will have his salary off the wage bill next season, but it won’t come close to the £27m that might have been earmarked.