Jesse Lingard criticises Man Utd ahead of Old Trafford return

Lingard is resurrecting his career with Nottingham Forest
Lingard is resurrecting his career with Nottingham Forest / Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

Jesse Lingard has hit out at his former club Manchester United, claiming he was never given a proper explanation for being frozen out at the club and accusing United officials of making 'false promises'.

The 30-year-old midfielder graduated from United's academy and went on to make 232 appearances for the club, but struggled for game time in his later years at Old Trafford and appeared just four times during his final season.

Lingard went out on loan to West Ham and impressed during the second half of the 2020/21 season, only to return to United and continue to be left out by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his successor, Ralf Rangnick.

Speaking ahead of his return to Old Trafford as a Nottingham Forest player, having joined the newly-promoted club in the summer, Lingard admits he still feels left in the dark by his treatment at United.

"I don’t know why I wasn’t playing," Lingard told The Telegraph.

"I don’t know what the problem was, whether it was politics or whatever. I still haven’t got an answer. I’d rather that someone had told me, 'This is why you’re not playing', out of respect for me being there so long, but I never got that.

"It was false promises. I was training hard and I was sharp, I was ready.

"So this is a chance to say my goodbyes because I never really got that. It will be an enjoyable occasion but we want to win the game. You can’t get caught up too much in it emotionally."

Listen now as Scott Saunders hosts Graeme Bailey and Toby Cudworth in the latest episode of Talking Transfers. This week they discuss Man Utd’s ongoing interest in Dutch duo Cody Gakpo and Frenkie de Jong, Josko Gvardiol’s future, Gabriel Martinelli and more! Available on all audio platforms.

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Lingard's career at Forest has gotten off to a slow start, but he now seems to be finding his feet along with the rest of the side as their form steadily improves.

Forest signed 22 players in the summer of 2022, totally ripping up their squad and starting afresh ahead of their return to the top flight.

While this led to inevitable teething issues, Steve Cooper's side will feel confident they can give most teams a game and potentially pick up enough points to survive another year.