Jesse Lingard

Assessing which club Jesse Lingard should join this summer

By Sean Walsh
Apr 12, 2021, 8:55 PM GMT+1
'J' and 'L' are his initials - get it?
'J' and 'L' are his initials - get it? | Pool/Getty Images
facebooktwitterreddit

The resurgence of one Jesse Ellis Lingard has been one of the more enjoyable narratives in this weird and unforgettable season.

West Ham have seemingly been the beneficiaries of playing games without fans to jeer them, or boo them, or invade the pitch and plant a corner flag in the centre circle. Anyway, there's not as much physical pressure on them to succeed, and succeed they have.

Ashley Barnes
We're a long way away from vintage West Ham now | Christopher Lee/Getty Images

David Moyes' side are serious contenders to qualify for the Champions League, and the loan signing of Lingard in January kept their momentum rolling into the second half of the season.

Lingard is flourishing with regular minutes, pressing off the ball and working wonders on it. It's even turned the heads of some of Europe's biggest clubs, while some critics think he deserves another chance at Manchester United.

But where would he best suited playing his football next season? Let's take a look at the clubs he's been linked with and how likely he is to land at them...

7. Real Madrid

Zinedine Zidane
Lingard might be a better footballer than Zinedine Zidane ever was. I guess we'll never know. | Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Suitability rating: 1/10
Likelihood rating: 0/10

Alright, as fun as it would be for Lingard to be unveiled with some keepie-uppies in front of a packed crowd at a renovated Santiago Bernabeu, it's not that realistic a scenario.

Real Madrid's priorities will be with Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland. They'll have to give JLingz a miss this time, I'm afraid.

6. Arsenal

Mikel Arteta
Mikel Arteta is under pressure as Arsenal manager | Pool/Getty Images

Suitability rating: 2/10
Likelihood rating: 1/10

It would be vintage Arsenal to blow an ever-dwindling transfer budget on another attacking midfielder when they already have a million of them, particularly when they look settled with Martin Odegaard and have other areas that need addressing in the transfer window first.

5. Manchester United

FBL-ENG-FA CUP-MAN UTD-WATFORD
Lingard wasn't getting a look in at Man Utd this season | OLI SCARFF/Getty Images

Suitability rating: 2/10
Likelihood rating: 2/10

The standard fairytale story would be Lingard returning to his boyhood club and lighting up Old Trafford again.

But that shouldn't - and probably won't - happen. The real fairytale comes from the two parties both succeeding without one another, happy for each other. Like Dale and Brennan finally getting their sh*t together in Step Brothers once they decided to grow up (ignore what happens after the Catalina Wine Mixer).

Lingard will always have an almost universal approval rating at one of the biggest clubs in the world. He's free to go and succeed elsewhere.

4. Tottenham

Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho was eager on a reunion with Lingard this season | Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Suitability rating: 5/10
Likelihood rating: 3/10

Spurs fans were turning their noses up at links with Lingard in January - who's laughing now, suckers?

The move seemed largely pushed by Jose Mourinho, the last manager to get anything good out of Lingard, but there's huge question marks as to whether he'll even be at Tottenham next season himself.

3. Paris Saint-Germain

Mauricio Pochettino
Lingard is the sort of player Mauricio Pochettino would love | Marcio Machado/Getty Images

Suitability rating: 7/10
Likelihood rating: 4/10

PSG should definitely be a contender in the Lingard sweepstakes, and I mean that most sincerely.

Think about it. PSG's squad - besides Neymar and Mbappe - is composed with players who have had good club careers at around, if not slightly lower than, Champions League level. They don't have the flexibility anymore to sign true top level talent, but the lure of their project is still tantalising to the tiers below.

Idrissa Gueye, Leandro Paredes, Rafinha, Danilo Pereira, Moise Kean, Julian Draxler, even former Man Utd teammate Ander Herrera - you don't think Lingard would add impetus and quality to this side?

A player of his skillset would fit in well under Mauricio Pochettino, and heavy rotation between nearly meaningless Ligue 1 games and crucial Champions League ties would ensure Lingard would play enough minutes to be more than useful.

Imagine kids roaming the streets of London in Jordan-branded PSG shirts with Lingard's name on the back. It makes sense.

2. Inter

Antonio Conte
Antonio Conte loves a good Premier League utility player | Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images

Suitability rating: 8/10
Likelihood rating: 6/10

Ashley Young is thriving at Inter. Alexis Sanchez is on a level slightly lower, but at least he isn't a bust. Same can now be said for Christian Eriksen. Victor Moses was alright there last season.

Antonio Conte gets the best out of players like Lingard. He's the perfect coach for him, the perfect man to tee up Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez.

Inter bringing in Lingard might make up for their abysmal rebranding. Not sure, though. Sign him first and then we'll have a rethink.

1. West Ham United

Jesse Lingard
Claret and blue looks good on you | Pool/Getty Images

Suitability rating: 9/10
Likelihood rating: 8/10

A marriage between West Ham and Lingard did seem a bit far-fetched on paper, but sometimes it's the weirdest combos that work.

Moyes has got the England international back in the form of his life, and if he does spearhead them into the Champions League, then he'll have instantly have earned hero status in east London.

Lingard is already loved by the fans of one club, but there's nothing stopping him from being a long-term hero at another.

For more from Sean Walsh, follow him on Twitter!

facebooktwitterreddit