It’s fair to say Jesse Lingard isn’t exactly the most popular of figures in the Manchester United squad at the moment.
The England international has had a tough time of it for the past couple of seasons, and it has seen him come under fire from United supporters on numerous occasions, including after the clash against Arsenal earlier this year, when they simply called for him to leave.
And from the perspective of Lingard himself, that may very well be the best option for his career as a whole.
Reports in recent days have suggested that both Lingard and Andreas Pereira’s careers at Old Trafford hang in the balance, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer keen to engineer a revamp of his squad for next season.
And whilst Lingard may be an academy product, and come through the youth system, he may be better off making the gut-wrenching decision to finally leave Old Trafford.
The last two seasons combined have seen him play 71 times for the Red Devils, but he has only managed a shocking seven goals in that time, despite predominantly playing in that attacking midfield role.
It’s a record that quite simply isn’t good enough, and his chances of playing week-in and week-out took a massive hit when United signed Bruno Fernandes from Sporting CP in the January transfer window.
The Portugal international’s arrival has further pushed him down the pecking order, and it’s difficult to see how Lingard can really force his way ahead of him. The 27-year-old has played an impressive 202 times for United, but if he is keen on resurrecting his footballing career, and even harbours hopes of featuring in Gareth Southgate’s England squad on a regular basis, then moving away could allow him to reset and get back to focusing on matters on the pitch.
Reports last month suggested the likes of Atletico Madrid and AS Roma are very much interested in taking him away from his home of Old Trafford. It may be the perfect time for Lingard to say goodbye for his own good.