David Moyes can convince Jesse Lingard to stay at West Ham beyond his loan deal after the key factor behind a potential return to Manchester United was revealed.
According to ESPN, Lingard will only return to Old Trafford at the end of the season if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer can guarantee the England international a regular role in his plans.
Lingard was given just three appearances by the Red Devils boss this season before sealing a temporary switch to the London Stadium in January, where Gareth Southgate believes he has been “excellent”.
The 28-year-old has scored five goals and been credited with three assists in seven Premier League games in claret and blue, and has only failed to influence the scoring in one of his outings under Moyes to date.
West Ham are keen to work on negotiating a permanent transfer for the 27-cap dynamo, who was recalled to the England set-up last month after a two-year hiatus, but are expected to face a wealth of competition.
The Red Devils will have a decision to make on Lingard’s future come the end of the season with the midfielder due to enter the final year of his contract in June, so will either have to present the academy product with new terms or listen to offers.
It is not considered likely that the £13.5m-rated Lingard will gain his desired minutes at Old Trafford in the No. 10 role he has thrived in for West Ham, with Bruno Fernandes the favoured option under Solskjaer.
Lingard’s alleged stance on his Manchester United future will come as a huge boost for West Ham in the east London outfit’s efforts to retain the England international, as Moyes can use his position to the Hammers’ advantage.
Lingard would face a real challenge to displace Fernandes at Manchester United were he to return to Old Trafford, with the Portuguese proving to be one of the best playmakers currently in the Premier League.
Only Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane (13) and Manchester City maestro Kevin de Bruyne (11) have provided more assists in the top-flight this term than Fernandes (10), who additionally ranks first for total number of key passes (82), per SofaScore.
Fernandes has created six more goal-scoring opportunities than any other player in the division to date, while his vision has led to a league-high 17 big chances for the Red Devils to score.
Moyes would be able to use that to show Lingard why he would have to accept a back-up role at Old Trafford next season if he were to head back, despite the 28-year-old proving his credentials while at West Ham.
Only Aaron Cresswell (1.52) and Vladimir Coufal (1.28) have averaged a higher number of key passes per game for West Ham in the top-flight this term than Lingard (1.14), who has also provided the third-most big chances created (0.29) per game.
With claims that Lingard is West Ham’s outright top-target for the summer market, ESPN’s report may give Moyes all the ammunition he needs to convince the playmaker to stick around at the London Stadium long-term.