David Moyes must seal a deal with Manchester United to retain Jesse Lingard after West Ham made the former England international a transfer priority for the summer window.
According to Claret & Hugh, the Irons boss has decided to make Lingard and the addition of at least one striker his top concerns, as he begins putting plans in place for the off-season.
West Ham will be expected to hit the market looking to turn Lingard’s loan permanent after the Red Devils refused to sanction a £15m clause being inserted in his temporary move.
Moyes stated last week that he hopes to strike a deal with his former club to retain Lingard after his super start at the London Stadium, penning four goals and two assists in six games.
“We’ve got international players and I’m hoping we can add to that in the coming transfer window,” Moyes said, via quotes by the Daily Mail.
“The job is to try to add to that. But I would hope Jesse sees this as a good place if it’s possible to be done, and if we think that we want to do it at the end of the season.”
Claret and Hugh add that Lingard would likely demand a three-year contract to join West Ham permanently in the summer and that the Irons will ‘move heaven and earth’ despite knowing there will be no long-term re-sale value in the 28-year-old.
Lingard has been one of the top performers at West Ham in almost every game he has been involved in since joining the east London outfit in January, and his importance to the show is evident most in that no player has contributed to more goals than he in the same period.
His significant outings in claret and blue have also led to one WhoScored man of the match award, coming against Aston Villa on debut, plus the highest average match rating (7.41/10) among the full Hammers squad for their full-season efforts.
It was no surprise that West Ham produced a languid offence against Manchester United last Sunday while without Lingard due to the forward being ineligible to face his parent club, with Moyes left underwhelmed by the sloppy nature of his side’s attacks.
“It was really poor,” he said, via quotes by football.london. “When we broke in the first half, I thought our play was really, really poor when we were breaking in the first half and that led to our poor… and that led to not having sustained attacks and we could not keep it [the ball] so our play on the break was really poor.”
Lingard would likely have helped to connect the midfield and offence at Old Trafford and contribute to a more impressive attacking display, having averaged the most shots per game from a West Ham player in the Premier League this season with 3.2, per WhoScored.
He also ranks second only to Aaron Cresswell (1.5) for key passes per game (1.2) but unlike the 31-year-old full-back (0.8), only 0.2 of Lingard’s come from set-pieces. The Manchester United loanee further records significantly more total passes per game than his fellow Irons forwards.
Lingard, who Noel Whelan claims is “really shining”, has, on average, made 35.2 total passes a game, more than Pablo Fornals (27.4), Manuel Lanzini (17.9), Jarrod Bowen (17.4), Said Benrahma (16.8) and Michail Antonio (15.9).
West Ham taking that level of output away at the end of the season will surely leave Moyes scratching his head looking for alternative targets who can offer anywhere near the same.