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Newcastle dodged a bullet by avoiding deal for Jesse Lingard

Saudi Arabian consortium PIF officially completed their takeover of Newcastle United in October of last year and some supporters celebrated the news outside of St. James’ Park at the time.

They replaced Mike Ashley as owners of the club and have enjoyed a fantastic year on Tyneside as they have taken the Magpies from facing relegation midway through 2021/22 to currently sitting sixth in the Premier League table.

PIF were not afraid to shake things up as they replaced Steve Bruce with Eddie Howe and then backed their new manager in the transfer window.

Bruno Guimaraes, Dan Burn, Matt Targett, Chris Wood, and Kieran Trippier all arrived through the door in January to bolster the team for the second half of the campaign.

One player they attempted to sign in that window was Manchester United attacking midfielder Jesse Lingard. The club were keen on a deal for the England international before Ralf Rangnick decided, on deadline day, that he wanted to keep hold of him.

It was then reported in May that Newcastle were “desperate” to sign him on a free transfer as his contract with the Red Devils was not renewed.

However, Dan Ashworth arrived as the club’s sporting director shortly after that and speculation over a move for the midfielder soon dried up, with Nottingham Forest eventually signing Lingard on a free towards the end of July.

His form since making the move to the City Ground suggests that the Magpies chief dodged a bullet by avoiding the Englishman in the summer.

The attacking midfielder had scored nine goals and provided five assists in 16 Premier League outings on loan at West Ham in the second half of the 2020/21 campaign but has failed to replicate that in Nottingham, as shown by the statistics above.

Lingard has not made any significant contributions for his team at the top end of the pitch and has been a liability off the ball, losing 64% of his individual duels.

Earlier this month, Darren Bent criticised the flop’s performances for Steve Cooper’s side this season whilst speaking on talkSPORT: 

“Jesse Lingard, I know they got him on a free but they’re giving him an awful lot of money.

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“With his experience and what he’s done in the Premier League and what he did on his last loan spell at West Ham. There’s got to be more from Jesse Lingard, he’s playing like a shell of himself.”

He is currently 19th in the Forest squad in terms of average SofaScore ratings and his score of 6.56 would place him 20th at Newcastle, only ahead of Jamal Lewis (6.30).

Therefore, Ashworth dodged a bullet with the 29-year-old as the flop, who is reportedly on £200k-per-week, has not been good enough in the Premier League so far this season and could have been a shocking signing for the Magpies with his lack of end product on the pitch.

Article title: Newcastle dodged a bullet by avoiding deal for Jesse Lingard

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