The Express and Star’s Luke Hatfield has dropped an update on Aston Villa’s pursuit of Manchester United star Jesse Lingard this summer.
Reports in recent weeks and months had suggested that Villa were ready to rival fellow Premier League side West Ham in a move for the England international.
And now, Hatfield has delivered his verdict on a potential move, and what he believes Dean Smith’s side’s current stance is.
He said: “I think in terms of his experience and stuff, he’d be the type of player they’d be interested in. I just think his age probably goes against it.
“And the issue that West Ham have had is the fee United want for him. I think Villa would probably agree with that for a player of his age because you’re not going to get much resale on him. If the money’s not right for them, then it wouldn’t shock me if it’s not right for Villa either.”
After joining West Ham back in the January transfer window on a short-term loan, Lingard racked up an incredible nine goals and four assists in just his first ten Premier League games for the club – it was no surprise then that he was lauded as being “absolutely phenomenal“.
The England international’s ability to break the lines with his movement and constant running is something which added a different dimension to West Ham’s game, and could do so for Villa too, and is a trait that Michael Carrick was quick to praise back at Old Trafford.
The United coach said of Lingard: “He senses where the space is and how to use it. I wouldn’t necessarily say he’s a dribbler with skills and tricks but he’s dynamic. How he plays, he is unique in some ways. You don’t see so much of that now as everyone wants to get on the ball. Off the ball, he’s very effective.”
His performances with the Hammers showcased the kind of impact the £75k-a-week earning star can have when he’s on song and the confidence is flowing through his veins.
Giving him an opportunity to shine at Villa, where the spotlight is understandably less than somewhere like United, could offer him the kind of freedom that sees him become a really consistent performer and break back into the England side under Gareth Southgate.
Villa could strike gold with the United star this summer.