Everton are reportedly one of several clubs who are keen to sign Manchester United’s wantaway star Jesse Lingard, with Rafael Benitez keen to bolster his attacking options.
According to The Telegraph, the highly-rated 28-year-old is set to depart Old Trafford after entering the final year of his current contract and turning down the offer of a new deal.
The report claims that the Toffees are one of several clubs who are keen to secure Lingard’s services next summer when he becomes a free agent, although Newcastle United, West Ham United and Serie A giants AC Milan are also believed to be in the running to sign the creative talent over the coming months.
After struggling to get back to his best following the 2018 World Cup, a short-term loan move to West Ham back in January reinvigorated the £19.8m-rated maestro’s career.
In just 16 Premier League appearances for the Hammers, Lingard scored nine goals and provided a further five assists for his teammates, playing a pivotal part as David Moyes’ charges finished in a very impressive sixth position.
However, his exploits for the east Londoners failed to translate into regular game-time for his boyhood club under former United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the opening weeks of the current campaign.
So far this season, Lingard has started just one game in all competitions but has managed to find the back of the net twice in just 63 minutes of top-flight action.
Following the 28-year-old’s return to form, England manager Gareth Southgate described the 32-cap gem as “immense”, and there’s little doubt that he would have the ability to improve Benitez’s struggling charges.
A move to Goodison Park would see Lingard link up with compatriot Demarai Gray, who has already provided five goal contributions throughout 2021/22 following his arrival from Bayer Leverkusen.
The intelligent, pacey and skillful duo would strike fear into any Premier League defence should Everton’s director of football Marcel Brands secure Lingard’s signature, and it’s a partnership that you’d imagine the club’s supporters would love to see.