If West Ham United target Jesse Lingard was under any illusions that he will suddenly be getting regular game time at Manchester United they were quickly dispelled yesterday.
Hammers News reported last month that Man United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer risked ruining what remains of Lingard’s career if he selfishly tried to keep him at Old Trafford as a squad player following his sensational loan spell at West Ham.
Lingard was widely expected to sign permanently for the Hammers after enjoying one of the best spells of his career at the London Stadium following two years out in the cold at Old Trafford.
Earlier this summer the 28-year-old declared that game time was the most important thing to him for the rest of his career.
Solskjaer selfish and Lingard deluded over Man United future
The charismatic playmaker appeared to have convinced himself he would suddenly get that again back at Manchester United this season.
West Ham and Man United fans have warned him otherwise on social media.
As did Man United legends Roy Keane and Gary Neville this week as they urged Lingard to leave Old Trafford and return to West Ham.
But watching the Red Devils’s opening game against Leeds would have provided the smelling salts for Lingard on Saturday.
And Paul Pogba in particular.
The £90m midfielder has been moved into a new advanced role in Man United’s midfield – to the left of a three, where Lingard is at his best and most comfortable.
Pogba has just convinced Lingard to sign for West Ham after starring in role where Jesse shone for Hammers
It is the position in which Lingard burst back into the spotlight at West Ham and elevated David Moyes’s side to within two points of Champions League qualification.
Pogba was outstanding, interchanging with fellow midfield ace Bruno Fernandes as the Frenchman laid on three assists in a stunning 5-1 win.
The new system deployed by Solskjaer sees Man United playing with two holding midfielders and three advanced midfielders in Pogba, Fernandes and Daniel James in the spot reserved for new £75m man Jadon Sancho.
Consider also that Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford – who both play off the left – will be returning to the fold too and that Solskjaer has Donny van de Beek for the central midfield spots too and it is difficult to see Lingard even getting game time in the cups.
Man United line-up and result a glimpse of what is to come for Lingard in squad packed full of quality options
Pogba was so good in his new role that West Ham will be hoping it proves to Lingard he is best served returning to the London Stadium.
West Ham have failed to add a single new outfield player to their squad this summer following the solitary signing of Alphonse Areola.
Man United are desperately trying to get Pogba to sign a new deal at Old Trafford and are confident he will (ESPN).
And his new advanced role is part of their persuasion tactics.
It appears the reality finally dawned on Lingard and his agent and brother Louie Scott yesterday.
That’s if Scott’s response to a West Ham account on social media is anything to go by.
He posted a picture of a ticking clock in response to a plea from West Ham Latest for Lingard to return to east London.
And insider ExWHUemployee claims there is now renewed hope West Ham can finally sign Lingard.
In other news, Joe Cole says he has been left stunned by West Ham’s transfer business.
And West Ham’s Tammy hopes dead in the water after change of heart.