West Ham United ‘dodged a bullet’ when they missed out on signing Jesse Lingard this summer, with the 29-year-old instead opting to join Nottingham Forest.
That’s the view of journalist Paul Brown, who was speaking with GiveMeSport.
The Lowdown: Lingard transfer saga
After Lingard’s hugely successful loan period with the Irons during the second half of the 2020/21 Premier League season, David Moyes was desperate to bring the attacking midfielder back to the London Stadium.
Upon the expiry of his Manchester United contract, a plethora of clubs lined up in hope of securing the 29-year-old’s signature.
After it appeared at one stage that Lingard was favouring a return to Rush Green, a subsequent U-turn saw him join newly-promoted Forest, agreeing to a one-year deal of up to £120,000-per-week with the Tricky Trees.
The Latest: Brown’s claim
Having failed to score or set up a single goal so far this term, Lingard has not lived up to the high standards he set for himself whilst on loan with the Hammers two seasons ago.
Consequently, Brown thinks that West Ham ‘dodged a bullet’ with the midfielder snubbing them in favour of Forest, especially if the 29-year-old wasn’t ‘particularly committed’ to a London Stadium return.
Speaking with GiveMeSport about whether the Irons would be glad that they didn’t sign Lingard this summer, the journalist claimed: “Whether West Ham feel that or not, I’m not sure. But I think they certainly dodged a bullet with Jesse Lingard.
“It was clear through that whole saga that he was never particularly committed to wanting to play for the club.”
The Verdict: Could’ve been good at West Ham
Sky Sports pundits Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville were scathing of Lingard’s decision to join Forest over the likes of West Ham, where he would have been playing European football.
The former Liverpool defender believes that the 29-year-old went to the City Ground for a better wage packet, whilst the ex-United right-back insists that the player’s reputation has ‘taken a hit’ as a result of the move.
Either way, it is disappointing to see Lingard struggle for form this season. Whilst on loan at the east London club, the attacking midfielder bagged nine goals and five assists in 16 top-flight games, helping the Hammers to a sixth-place finish in the Premier League table in 2020/21.
Therefore, considering that he already knows the score at West Ham and is familiar with Moyes’ management and playing style, a return to Rush Green for Lingard could have ensured a much smoother return to regular first-team football after being snubbed so frequently at Old Trafford last term.
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