Jesse Lingard has admitted he hasn’t been trying hard at Manchester United.
Lingard’s poor performances have seen him become a fringe player at United and speculation has been mounting that the Red Devils will seek to offload him in the summer.
And in a shocking admission in an interview in Adidas Home Team’s The Huddle via The Mirror, the 27-year-old revealed ‘I wasn’t really pushing myself’.
‘My mind wasn’t there, I wasn’t really pushing myself. It felt like it weren’t me. You feel like when you watch yourself you’re like “that’s not Jesse.”
‘I know who I am and my family know who I am, I know how I play and, like I say, I didn’t really push myself last season.’
United fans will be outraged to hear the midfielder admit that he was not taking his football seriously. There can be sympathy for a loss of form, but none for a loss of interest.
Lingard also said in the interview ‘I have the right attitude, I have the right desire, I have the right hunger to win games to play for United to obviously win trophies which is one of the most important things’.
Well, obviously you don’t have that desire, Jesse. You just admitted you don’t.
‘So this season I’m gonna have targets, I’m gonna have goals that I need to hit, individually and as a team as well’.
What happens next with the former England international remains to be seen. It seems increasingly likely – especially after this interview – that the club will look to sell him on, with Newcastle, Everton, West Ham and Leicester all having been linked with a move for him.
However, despite having employed the infamous Mino Raiola as his agent, it has been reported that Lingard ‘will not be hounded out of the club’ and is ‘apparently keen to stay at his boyhood club.’
The Warrington-born player has one year left on his contract although United have the option to extend it for a further 12 months.
But Ole Gunnar Solskjaer does not need players at the club who are not prepared to push themselves. A cursory glance at Lingard’s season-by-season stats tell the story of a player who has underperformed consistently for many years. There has been too much loyalty shown to the academy graduate and it would surely now be better for everyone if Lingard leaves, even on a free transfer.
United might have to finish their Premier League season at neutral grounds as the authorities try to ensure player safety. How much do you know about those neither-home-nor-away games the Red Devils have played in the past? Take our quiz below to find out.