Roy Keane highlights Manchester United Jesse Lingard mistake



Roy Keane insists Manchester United should have sold Jesse Lingard in last summer’s transfer window amid ongoing uncertainty about his future.

Lingard, who spent the second half of last season on loan at West Ham United, was expected to exit Old Trafford in the latter stages of the January transfer window.

However, despite Lingard, who has made just 14 appearances in all competitions this term, previously being given the green light to leave the club, the England star was blocked from sealing a deadline day exit, despite both Newcastle United and West Ham expressing their hopes of getting a deal over the line as the clock moved towards 11pm on deadline day.

United also had the chance to cash-in on the attacking midfielder last summer following his fruitful loan spell in the capital, ahead of him entering the final year of his current contract, but former manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer denied him an exit, insisting he would play a part in his plans moving forward.

For Keane, United made a huge error in not selling Lingard during the summer window.

“He should have gone last summer, end of story,” Keane told ITV Sport. “He’s had his chance, he went out on loan and showed what he’s about.

“He’s a good player. He went to West Ham, hit the ground running, having not played much football, but people get bogged on players’ contracts.

“If they want to leave on a free, you have to play the games. He can complain all he wants.

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“Obviously it’s not ideal between the club and Jesse at the moment. Last summer was his opportunity and he should’ve took it, if he had the chance, and I’m sure he might say there weren’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.”

On Thursday, during his pre-match press conference, interim manager Ralf Rangnick confirmed that Lingard had asked the club and the German if he could have “a couple of days off just to clear up his mind.” Lingard, however, later responded to Rangnick’s claims, insisting he was offered the time off, opposed to asking for it.

For former Arsenal striker Ian Wright, sitting alongside Keane in ITV Sport’s studio on Friday evening, the different version of events that have been made public is as a result of a “communication breakdown.”

Wright said: [It is] a communication breakdown. When you’ve got a player saying he wants to play, then the manager comes out and says he wants a break, now for me, it just seems really strange for Jesse, someone who could hardly make the team but we saw how hard he worked himself, went to West Ham and did very well.

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“He’s done very well for Man United. In the four finals since Sir Alex [Ferguson] hasn’t been about he’s played in four and scored in three. Everything about him, he wants to do well for the club so I can’t understand why they come out and say that.”

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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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