'No disrespect': Paul Merson makes Nottingham Forest claim
Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

'No disrespect': Paul Merson makes Nottingham Forest claim

Paul Merson has given his thoughts on the Jesse Lingard to Nottingham Forest transfer deal in his latest Daily Star column.

On Thursday, the Reds pulled off a stunning coup in bringing the former Manchester United attacker to the City Ground.

The England international penned an initial one-year deal at Forest reportedly worth close to £200,000-a-week.

Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

Lingard snubbed West Ham to join Steve Cooper’s charges, back in the Premier League after 23 years.

The 29-year-old had struggled for game time in the latter stages of his Old Trafford career.

Lingard enjoyed a superb loan stint at West Ham in the second half of 2020-21.

However, he then barely got a look-in for the Red Devils the following season.

Merson claimed Lingard’s move to Forest showed that “the days of any old player running their contract down are over.”

Though he stressed Lingard is a “good player” and can be the “X-Factor” for Forest, he suggested that he’s not “top, top drawer”.

And while he praised Forest’s efforts to get back into the top flight and deemed Cooper “different class”, he claimed Lingard would be “working on scraps” there.

“A king’s ransom”

“Jesse Lingard’s situation shows that the days of any old player running their contract down are over,” he wrote in the Daily Star.

“I think they are gone. Unless you are top, top drawer, you’re not going to leave a big club on a free and get paid a fortune to join another one.

“Lingard is a good player. But none of the Big Six clubs were in for him. And I can’t believe Nottingham Forest are paying him a king’s ransom to go there.

“He was probably holding out for a big club. He could have signed for West Ham a year or so ago. But the big clubs didn’t come calling.

“He’s basically lost a season of his career sitting waiting at Manchester United and now he’s going to Nottingham Forest.

“No disrespect, Forest have done great and the manager is different class, but he’ll be working on scraps there. He’ll play games for them where he’s not had a sniff of a goal.

“Maybe he wants to make sure he plays every week. And fair play to him if that’s the case.

“He’s missed a lot of football. It’s a short career, he’s not getting any younger, and he needs to play every week.

“Forest need an X-Factor and Lingard can be that.”

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