Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made his feelings on Jesse Lingard’s future clear amid reported interest from West Ham in bringing him back to the London Stadium on a permanent deal
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has insisted Jesse Lingard has an important role to play within his squad this season, dealing a blow to West Ham ’s chances of striking a permanent deal.
Lingard moved on loan in January to the Hammers in a bid to boost his chances to make England’s Euro 2020 squad after being frozen out at Old Trafford.
The 28-year-old made a long-lasting impression, scoring nine goals for the Hammers and adding five assists in 16 Premier League appearances during his spell at the London Stadium.
In doing so, Lingard has become one of the most prolific footballers in the Premier League in 2021 and narrowly missed out on England’s final squad for the tournament.
It is believed the Hammers are keen to take the attacking midfielder back to east London on a permanent deal, but the clubs are yet to agree a deal.
But after waxing lyrical about the likes of Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba after starring in their 5-1 thrashing of Leeds United, Solskjaer has tipped the midfielder to play an integral role for him this season — despite fierce competition for a starting spot.
“Don’t forget Jesse Lingard who has re-invented himself and has come back the man that we know he is with the quality,” he told reporters.
“He is going to play a big part as well.”
Lingard has featured regularly during pre-season for the Red Devils but missed out on the matchday squad to play Leeds after testing positive for Covid-19.
When asked about if he would consider rotating his squad ahead of their next fixture, a trip to St Mary’s to face Southampton, the Norwegian hinted Lingard and other squad players could feature.
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“Of course there could be more rotation,” he added.
“We will be fresher. We will have to have a big and strong squad to be competitive in this league.
“It’s the best league in the world and we also have to be lucky with injuries, but I am looking forward to working with all these players.
“We have to work hard and see who is fit and available. There will be a few fit and available definitely.”
West Ham goalkeeper Darren Randolph fuelled speculation that Lingard could be heading back to the Hammers after hinting the pair would be reunited at the club’s training ground.
The Irishman posted via his Instagram account bizarrely telling his former team-mate he expects to see him at the West Ham training ground in the near future.
He wrote: “@JesseLingard I’ll be seeing you soon at Rush Green for training! You know you want to!”
But when asked about any potential offers for Lingard, Hammers boss David Moyes was tight-lipped when quizzed about if the club wanted to re-sign the England international.
“Well, you are talking about a Manchester United player, not a West Ham player,” he said.
“So you need to ask Ole about that. I can only talk to you about the West Ham players.”