Aston Villa are ready to battle West Ham for the signing of Manchester United Jesse Lingard this summer.
The England international has been in scintillating form since joining the Hammers on loan back in the January transfer window, netting an incredible nine goals and providing a further four assists in just 10 Premier League games.
Now, Football Insider claim that “Villa will join the race for Jesse Lingard if given encouragement Man United are open to selling him when his sensational West Ham loan ends”.
The report adds that “he is highly regarded by the club’s coaches and seen as a “Villa-type player” who could make a big impact in Dean Smith’s side.”
Lingard’s form has been so good that Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville has even suggested that United may want him back at Old Trafford once the season ends, saying: “He does an incredible amount of running. It’s what he does. He’s good out of possession and good in possession.”
The £75k-a-week earning midfielder is that rare breed of player who arguably does his best work off the ball, and it’s something Michael Carrick picked up on when Lingard was shining at United.
He said: “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.”
And that excellent movement is something echoed by Trevor Sinclair who said: “It’s alright everyone getting the ball to feet and playing pretty football, but you’ve got to make a lot of the unselfish, lung-busting runs in behind defences and lines. That’s what breaks and disorganises defences. He has that in abundance.”
Hailed as being “absolutely phenomenal” since joining the Hammers, Smith would surely love Lingard in his side, as he would fit in perfectly at Villa Park given his selflessness and ability to make things happen in the final third.