Manchester United criticism of Jesse Lingard Newcastle loan is missing the point – Tyrone Marshall


The question Manchester United have left Newcastle to ask is a simple one: How valuable is survival of the Premier League to you?

Old Trafford bosses are in no doubt that Jesse Lingard could play a pivotal role in completing that escape from the bottom three – a belief backed by his excellent performances at West Ham a year ago, if not his puzzling underutilisation by successive United managers this season. .

Lingard scored nine goals and recorded four assists in 16 games for the Hammers and started the season with some brilliant performances off the bench for United, but somehow that wasn’t seen as worthy of a start in an underperforming team.

Now the writing is on the wall. United will lose Lingard for nothing in the summer when they should have cashed out last year. The decision to keep him on an already bloated team was puzzling and will prove costly. United continually proves to be a poor seller, particularly when it comes to the timing of departures.

This window represents your last chance to generate some income for Lingard. United believe he would get around £50m if he were up for sale and had a longer contract. That valuation is high for a 29-year-old who cannot play at Old Trafford but has 32 England caps and 240 Premier League appearances to his name.

United also insist he could prove invaluable to Newcastle, a club that has the wealth to strike big deals and needs to survive to keep its ambitious plans under Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) on a smooth schedule.

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Staying awake this season is perhaps worth £100m to Newcastle. It’s a financial blow they can take and would climb back up, but it has taken more than a year off their attempts to be a challenge at the top of the Premier League. Not only would it be a season away from the elite, but it would mean signing a lesser caliber player for at least another year.

United’s request for a ‘survival bonus’ has certainly drawn the ire of Newcastle fans. There is an understandable distrust in the North East of the world’s richest club now being held up, but bonuses are common in football, both in salaries and transfer fees, such as winning the league, finishing among the first four, or in this case, stay awake.

It’s also worth remembering that there are still five days left in the transfer window. This is all part of a deal, one that may well see Lingard in the black and white stripes by the end of the month. United could be trying to raise the fee at the moment, but if talks resume there is always a chance of a deal.

There are similarities to Chris Smalling’s transfer to Roma in the summer of 2020, a deal that was on the table the entire window but was only completed in the last few hours. Smalling had a successful Series A loan the year before, qualified at Old Trafford and wanted the move. There was a feeling that United owed Smalling a move, but it wouldn’t make sense for a club to sell or lend its players to the first offer they get, but rather to the casualties of negotiation in trying to buy players.

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This is slightly different in that Lingard is leaving no matter what happens in six months. Seeing how this season has played out, there may be some regret that we didn’t push harder to get out last summer. He is not alone in this team believing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer when the Norwegian told him he would have chances.

Lingard and his team will no doubt hope that a resolution is found before Monday’s deadline. The player deserves the chance to go play first-team football for six months, something he is clearly not going to get at Old Trafford.

Perhaps United’s demands are in the excessive category at the moment, but the only real sticking point is a survivor bonus and its value. That is not an insurmountable obstacle and it is not as outrageous a clause as has been suggested.

There is still time for all parties to get what they want from this.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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