West Brom have been linked with a move for Jesse Lingard ahead of deadline day, according to reports…
It’s thought that a loan fee and Lingard’s wages (£75k-per-week) could be a problem unless the Red Devils are willing to subsidise the deal, though that may prove difficult with West Ham also keen on his services.
Albion have had some decent success when signing former United players, ranging from Ronnie Wallwork, who won the Player of the Year award for 2004/05, to Jonny Evans, who featured 96 times across three campaigns.
But given Lingard’s versatility and ability, he could become West Brom’s next Jonathan Greening.
The former Baggies attacking midfielder won a Champions League medal with United before enjoying five seasons as a key player across Premier League and Championship campaigns.
Greening was capable of operating anywhere behind the striker before eventually dropping deeper into midfield as he entered the twilight of his career, in which he was dubbed a “quarterback” by former teammate Dean Kiely as well as a player who was “technically unbelievable” by James Morrison.
Lingard is cut from the same cloth – primarily a right-winger, who is equally adept at playing the no.10 role. His past comparisons to Andres Iniesta only adds weight to the argument that he can be a creative presence in this current Baggies team.
“The difference with Jesse is that he was always the English version of Iniesta. He can play in the pockets, he’s very mobile and very agile,” said former United coach Rene Meulensteen.
The 24-time England international hasn’t featured in the Premier League this term but proved his creative ability in 22 appearances last season, where he averaged 1.9 key passes per 90 minutes, via WhoScored.
By comparison, this is better than every single player in Allardyce’s squad apart from Matheus Pereira (2.2 key passes per 90). That means out wide, Lingard could be a massive upgrade – for example, £18m summer signing Grady Diangana is only managing 0.3 key passes per 90, which is quite frankly, not good enough.
The £9m-rated Lingard has a pretty decent record against the Baggies too. Indeed, he must’ve given Alan Pardew nightmares in 2017 when, as a no.10 he ran the show at the Hawthorns, managing an impressive 91% passing accuracy as well as a goal and a key pass, per SofaScore.
Not to mention, his work-rate would likely be something that pleases Big Sam. Ole Gunnar Solksjaer once claimed: “There’s no-one who runs as much as Jess, he’s a great trigger in the pressing.”
A “unique” player for sure, as Michael Carrick said in 2018, Lingard would be a mightily fine option to have at West Brom as they are among the league’s lowest scorers and given his ability, he could well fill that right-wing void whilst also having the ability to slot in anywhere else in attack.
Just like Greening, Lingard could be the fruit of another successful signing from their Manchester rivals. He must be signed as Albion’s final domestic loan option this month.
AND in other news, West Brom lightweight who lost 86% of his duels just betrayed Big Sam…