Manchester United attacking midfielder Jesse Lingard has admitted that he was ‘lost as a player and as a person’ during the 2019/20 season. The player is now into his last year of his contract, which is set to expire in the summer of 2021, although there is an option of a further year to be added. The player made a total of 38 appearances during the course of the season, scoring three goals and two assists, which is not good enough for a United player with high standards expected going into next season.
Lingard made just nine Premier League starts during the course of the season but he has opened up on his personal struggles, which does not excuse the fact he has been poor, stating that the season has been ‘difficult for so many reasons’. The 27-year-old has been looking after his younger siblings after his mother became ill but he has struggled to cope, losing his form and looking dejected more often than not. He will need to put all of this past his and fins his feet or face an exit from the club. On his Instagram page, also reported by The Mirror, Lingard stated
“This season has been difficult for so many reasons. I lost who I was as a player and person, but I never wanted to give up.
“I knew who I really was on and off the pitch and knew that, having been there before, I could get there again.
“It meant working harder than I’d ever done before and trusting in those around me that they knew how to best help me achieve that.”
Lingard knows that the supporters of the Old Trafford club have been frustrated by his performances and if he was going through so much away from the club, perhaps he should have taken time away to deal with things, rather than try to play though it as that just makes things worse. Perhaps he has now learned that he will need to offload things. This could have all but ended his career at United, especially if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer brings in some new faces this season, that could severely cut his playing time at the club. Lingard concluded by saying:
“I know the fans have been frustrated, but in all this time my love for this club and everyone connected to it has never left me.
“This team, this club, is my family and I will continue to keep working harder than ever to help this team achieve its goals.”
United may have achieved their main objective this season; reaching the UEFA Champions League but it was not something that Lingard personally helped achieve. He will know that and many may feel that I am being harsh. However, when you play for United, you will need to ensure that you always give 100% as there will always be another player willing to give that, tasing your place in the squad. Lingard could be a wanted man this summer with West Ham United interested in signing him but he could well be given another chance at United, unless Solskjaer has made his decision already, which may or may not be the case.
Written by John Walker