Arsenal To Battle West Ham For Jesse Lingard
Arsenal are set to hijack West Ham’s attempt to sign Jesse Lingard on a permanent deal this summer, according to reports.
The 28 year-old joined West Ham on a 6 month loan deal in January and has been in remarkable form ever since. Lingard failed to make a single Premier League appearance for Manchester United in the first half of the season, but since his move to the capital, he has scored 8 goals and provided 4 assists in just 9 league games. That includes a goal and assist against Arsenal in the 3-3 draw back in March.
Arteta has made his intentions of signing Martin Ødegaard on a permanent basis clear, but if this move does not materialise, the Gunners will switch their attention to Jesse Lingard, according to a report by the Evening Standard. Manchester United have not given any clues as to whether or not they wish to retain Lingard’s services this summer or move him on on a permanent basis. However, should United be open to the idea of offloading the 28 year-old in the upcoming window, they have changed the price-tag on the England international. It is believed Ed Woodward would’ve ripped your arm off for £10 million in the January window; but given Lingard’s dazzling form at West Ham, a fee of £30 million will be required to secure his services this summer.
As to Lingard’s preferred destination, The Mirror has said the England international would prefer a switch to East London over North London. Lingard has thoroughly enjoyed his football under David Moyes and would be keen to complete a permanent move to the Hammers this summer. Likewise, West Ham are more likely to secure European qualification next season, whether this be Champions League or Europa League. Given his Manchester United roots, a move to the Gunners would feel like betrayal for the 28 year-old.
Personally, I wouldn’t go near him – hopefully these links are the usual transfer gossip, with nothing concrete behind them. Arsenal are likely to have a limited transfer budget this window, given the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic and the potential failure of missing out on European qualification for the first time this century. Therefore, spending £30 million on Jesse Lingard would be absolutely criminal. The Gunners would be much better investing this money in bringing in a new right back or alternative attacking midfield option – Emi Buendía or Julian Brandt perhaps (assuming Ødegaard is unavailable).
Yes, Lingard is in inspiring form at the moment, but it is hard to justify spending £30 million on a player who has played well for half a season. On top of that, he is 28 years-old, so would be 31-32 by the time his potential Arsenal contract would be coming to an end. The Gunners are currently stalling on offering Alex Lacazette a new deal as they don’t want to be stuck with an ageing striker. Lacazette is 29. So, with that logic in mind, why even consider Lingard?
Also, Emile Smith-Rowe has been an integral part of the Arsenal squad since his first league start on Boxing Day, providing 6 assists in all competitions (1 behind club leader, Willian). I would much prefer Arteta put his faith in a Hale End Graduate as opposed to bringing in a Manchester United reject. Smith-Rowe is still young and unlikely to play every game, hence we are looking to bring in another attacking midfielder. But if we can’t sign one, I would much rather rotate Smith-Rowe with a forward already at the club, like Willian or Pépé, than bring in Jesse Lingard for £30 million.
Arsenal fans are also likely to be opposed to the move, given Lingard’s history against Arsenal and the fact he referred to the Emirates as a ‘dancefloor’, after United knocked the Gunners out of the FA Cup 4th Round in the 2018-19 season.
If Arsenal want to firmly leave the notorious ‘banter era’ in the past, signing Lingard is not an option.
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