Jesse Lingard brushed away the lingering question mark over his footballing future after being released by Nottingham Forest, choosing instead to enjoy an idyllic afternoon on a beach in Barbados with friends.
The Premier League side chose not to renew Lingard’s £200,000-a-week one-year deal with the club after the former Manchester United man failed to make an impact at the City Ground.
The 30-year-old made just 20 appearances during the club’s 2022-23 campaign, which saw Steve Cooper’s side narrowly avoid relegation and set themselves up for a second consecutive season of top-flight action.
Lingard could only contribute two goals and two assists during his playing time, fading out of contention for the 16th-placed side.
But whilst England international is yet to confirm where he will ply his trade next season, he focused instead on enjoying the Caribbean sun and sand as he spent a day at the beach.
Jesse Lingard enjoyed a day at the beach in Barbados with Yana Watts the day after being released by Nottingham Forest
Lingard and Watts seemed close, at times embracing, as they spent the day in the sun together
The pair spent the day partying with friends as they sipped drinks and soaked up the sunshine
The girl Lingard was pictured on the beach with appears to be Yana Watts – whose Instagram account suggests she’s been in Barbados for over a year.
Little is known about Watts, but she and Lingard spent the afternoon riding jet-skis, sipping drinks, and sunning themselves as the forward made the most of his holiday.
In a group of friends, Lingard and Watts also played beach paddleball in the sea whilst taking a dip in the ocean waters.
Lingard will not the only player to leave the City Ground at the end of the season.
The club confirmed the end of six of their players contracts, with Andre Ayew, Cafu, Jack Colback, Jordan Smith and Lyle Taylor all moving on from the side.
But Serge Aurier has his extended, with the club triggering the option placed in the right-back’s contract.
Lingard showed off his jet skiing prowess whilst holidaying in the Caribbean idyll
The pair skimmed along the coastline taking in the sights during their afternoon’s activity
The former Manchester United player has been taking a deserved break at the end of a trying Premier League season
As things stand, it is unclear where Lingard will play next season, although a move away from the Premier League is likely
But Lingard didn’t have a care in the world as he focused on spending a beach day with friends
Lingard has had an up-and-down run of seasons in the years since he rocketed into the Manchester United first team in 2015.
After finding his feet under Jose Mourinho, the midfielder failed to keep his place in the starting XI with the advent of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, setting up an extended stay on the sidelines.
His career was briefly rejuvenated in 2021 with a successful six-month loan move to West Ham, but back at United, Lingard was unable to build on his rich run of form.
Lingard left his boyhood club last summer after 22 years as part of the club’s set up.
In a interview in 2023, Lingard revealed that personal disappointment during United’s 2019-20 campaign saw the player turn to drinking to mask the pain.
Lingard and Watts were later joined by another friend, as the trio sat by the water’s edge
The 30-year-old partook in some beach paddleball whilst taking a dip in the water
The player kept his jewelry on in the sea, including a thick silver chain necklace and gold watch
Speaking to The Diary of a CEO podcast, he shared that his enthusiasm for football drained away as he received abuse from the fans, and struggled with family issues.
‘I was drinking before bed, having a nightcap. I look back now and think “what was I doing that for?” But I needed something to try and take the pain away,’ Lingard said. ‘I was trying to forget what was going on. But it makes it 10 times worse.
‘You’re getting that much abuse, and I’m already down enough, and I’ve got to perform. I was still trying to be Jesse, like banter, banter jokes and all that but, of course it’s going to affect me.
‘I’m already going through things you don’t know about… I felt like the world was on my shoulders.’
The friends treated themselves to brightly-coloured drinks as temperatures rose beachside
The connection between Watts and the England international has not yet been established
The attacking midfielder and Watts were seen chatting extensively in their group of friends