West Ham United could still be in with a chance of landing free agent Jesse Lingard this summer, despite the speculation having died down of late.
What’s the word?
As per journalist Ryan Taylor, speaking to GIVEMESPORT, it is not out of the question that the 29-year-old will return to the London Stadium in the current window – having been tipped to make a move in recent months – even though the deal has gone “very quiet”.
Who would you rather have at West Ham?
The transfer insider stated: “West Ham are obviously going to look at that deal because of the success he had on loan, but it’s gone very quiet to be honest. But from what we read, there are not too many clubs interested, so I wouldn’t write that one off, although it has gone reasonably quiet.”
The England international previously enjoyed a hugely impressive six-month loan spell with the Hammers during the second half of the 2020/21 campaign and had been linked with a permanent move to the club last summer.
Having eventually remained at parent club Manchester United for the most recent season, the versatile forward struggled for game time amid the Red Devils’ woes, with the club recently confirming his departure from Old Trafford once his contract expires at the end of the month.
Better than Benrahma
It has proven a case of one step forward, two steps back for the £80k-per-week playmaker in recent times, with Lingard – who has been dubbed “lethal” by one source – having failed to build on his strong form for the Irons last term, eventually starting just two league games all season for United in what culminated in a sad end to his time at the club.
The 32-cap star – who Ryan Giggs praised as a “nightmare” to coach as a youngster – had seemingly warranted a better send-off having risen up through the club’s youth ranks before forcing his way into the first-team picture, after several stints out on loan, eventually proving his worth to his boyhood club after netting in three Wembley triumphs.
That success may seem a distant memory to some, although his form in a Hammers shirt was a reminder of just what he can do when handed the opportunity, as he chipped in with nine goals and four assists in just 16 league games for the club, playing a vital role as David Moyes’ side secured Europa League qualification.
That same campaign saw 2020 arrival Said Benrahma struggle to truly make an impact in his debut season in east London, the former Brentford man scoring just once and providing six assists in 30 appearances.
While he has since bettered that record with 14 goal contributions from his 32 top-flight outings in the 2021/22 season, that tally is still only one more than Lingard achieved in half of the number of games the year prior, with the Englishman potentially set to inflict more damage were he to be given a full term to impress.
For Benrahma, there have been question marks over his lack of consistency, with reports suggesting that he could even be moved on this summer as Moyes plots something of a squad shake-up, ahead of another campaign that will see the club compete both domestically and in Europe.
In truth, the Algerian has failed to really steal the limelight in a claret and blue jersey, with it perhaps time that Lingard steps in to take his place.