Roy Keane: Man United attacker should have left the club last summer
Roy Keane questions why Jesse Lingard didn't quit Manchester United last summer
Roy Keane has questioned why Jesse Lingard didn’t leave Manchester United last summer.
The England international was linked with a move to Newcastle United and West Ham United in the January transfer window before Manchester United blocked Lingard’s potential transfer.
Newcastle failed to meet Manchester United’s asking price for the 29-year-old after the cash-rich Magpies refused to pay Lingard’s £12m price tag despite their eagerness to sign the playmaker.
Lingard has struggled to secure a regular starting spot under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his replacement Ralf Rangnick in the 2021-22 season to cast doubt on his hopes of securing a place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the 2022 World Cup later this year.
The Manchester United midfielder’s stock was at an all-time high last season after Lingard scored nine goals and made four assists in 16 games during his loan stint at West Ham in the second half of the 2020-21 season.
Lingard was heavily linked with a permanent move to the Hammers in the 2021 summer transfer window but the English midfielder remained at Manchester United.
Former Red Devils captain Keane believes Lingard should have forced a summer transfer after his impressive loan spell in the English capital.
“He should have gone last summer. End of story,” Keane told ITV Sport, as quoted by Metro, after Manchester United lost to Middlesbrough on penalties in the FA Cup fourth round on Friday night.
“He’s had his chance, he went out and showed what he’s about.
“He’s a good player, went to West Ham hit the ground running having not played much football but people get bogged on players’ contract if they want to leave on a free, you have to play the games.
“He can complain all he wants, obviously it’s not ideal between the club and Jesse at the moment.
“Last summer was his opportunity he should’ve took it, if he had the chance and I’m sure he might say there wasn’t many offers on the table but he had the opportunity last summer that was his chance.
“Because at the moment he’s just writing the season off and he can’t afford to do that if he has plans on getting back into the England setup.
“But having said that, there’s an important few months coming up for United, stranger things have happened if he can come back in he’s shown before that he’s got quality.”
Lingard has scored 35 times in 224 appearances in all competitions since making his debut against Swansea City under Louis van Gaal in 2014.
The 29-year-old has won the FA Cup, League Cup, Community Shield and Europa League during his stint at Manchester United.
Lingard has gone on loan to Leicester City, Birmingham City, Brighton, Derby County and West Ham during his 11 years in the Manchester United senior team.
Manchester United suffered disappointment in the FA Cup on Friday night when they were dumped out at the hands of Championship side Middlesbrough.
The Red Devils do not have long to lick their wounds, and they will travel to Burnley in the top flight on Tuesday night.
Speaking after the game, interim boss Rangnick said: “I think we have played well in the last couple of weeks, in the league and also today in the first half.
“I don’t think we could have done a lot of things a lot better, apart from scoring more goals in the first half. We have to take our chances better with more quality than we did today.”