Noel Whelan says the prospect of Jesse Lingard signing for Everton is ‘mouthwatering’.
The former Leeds United forward was discussing the future of the Manchester United ace with Football Insider.
The publication reported on Saturday that, should United agree to let Lingard leave in January, Everton would be at the front of the queue.
West Ham, who had him on loan for the latter half of the 2020/21 campaign, and Newcastle United are also said to be keeping tabs on his situation.
However, Everton have a key advantage in that Lingard would prefer to remain in the north-west of England.
Lingard netted nine goals in 16 appearances for the Hammers but has been limited to 55 minutes of Premier League action this season (via WhoScored).
Significantly, the Englishman’s contract is up in the summer, meaning United could be tempted to cash-in at the mid-point of the season.
Whelan says that Lingard could represent a belated replacement for James Rodriguez, who left in September.
He reckons that the 28-year-old would elevate Everton’s entire frontline.
“I think Everton are missing that number 10, absolutely,” he said to FI. “Now that [James] Rodriguez has gone, you’re missing that X factor, that one player that can produce, that can open up the doors.
“Think about the players on either side of what he could have as well, Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison. It’s a mouthwatering prospect thinking about the front four they could have.
“Jesse Lingard could be that missing piece of the puzzle. He could bring the best out of that front three. There’s no doubt in my mind if he did go to Everton, West Ham, wherever, he would be a success.”
It was a little surprising if Lingard didn’t wind up at West Ham, because it seemed like a move that made sense for all parties.
Geography played its part, but surely he would have also expected to feature more prominently for the Red Devils?
It’s hard to see him committing his peak years to United given his current squad role. Everton could well be wise to pounce.
In other news, could this midfielder go the other way?
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