West Brom have emerged as surprise contenders for one Premier League outcast, according to emerging reports…
The Mirror claim that the Baggies are among several teams, ranging from Scotland to across Europe, eyeing a move for Manchester United star Jesse Lingard as he enters the final six months of his contract at Old Trafford.
Arch-rivals Aston Villa, as well as the likes of Celtic, Rangers, Everton and Real Sociedad, have all been mooted with interest in the hardly-seen 27-year-old midfielder.
It’s hinted that United could be willing to sell him in January in order to make some money on him, instead of letting him go for free this summer.
Now valued at just £12.6m, Lingard could be exactly what Albion need going into the second half of the season – a player with genuine experience in the top-flight, one that has won multiple trophies too.
It was only in the 2017/18 campaign that the England international enjoyed his best-ever season in the English top-flight. He scored eight goals, provided five assists and averaged 1.7 shots and 0.8 key passes per game, via WhoScored.
During that campaign, Michael Carrick described Lingard as “unique,” he told the club’s official website: “I think his movement – he moves off the ball very well. It’s something that sounds quite simple, but it’s difficult to defend against.”
Whilst Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has previously lauded his influence in the dressing room, so much so that he was given the captaincy in a match against Astana last year, he said:
“Goalscoring is important for forwards and his goal was excellent but I thought his performance was top class. He led the team by example, energy, drive, scored a goal, great in the dressing room the whole trip, he’s done himself proud today I think.”
Lingard has an impressive record against the Baggies too, haunting ex-Albion boss Tony Pulis on three separate occasions – scoring in a 2-0 win in 2015, assisting Zlatan Ibrahimovic in a victory by the same scoreline in 2016, and scoring again in a 2-1 win in 2017.
His £75k-per-week wages may be a stumbling block, but if Luke Dowling can negotiate that down somewhat, then Lingard would surely be a much-needed acquisition for that right-wing spot – with or without Slaven Bilic.