Rio Ferdinand has told his YouTube channel that he thinks Jesse Lingard should look to seal a permanent move away this summer as he shared what Mark Noble had told him about the West Ham loanee.
Lingard has been a revelation since moving to the London Stadium in January. It appeared to be a major gamble for the Hammers with the 28-year-old barely featuring for Manchester United.
But he has scored three goals in his first four appearances for David Moyes’s men. That run includes what proved to be the winning goal on Sunday as the Irons beat Tottenham.
It is remarkable how well Lingard – who earns £100,000-a-week, according to Goal – has fitted in in his new surroundings. It certainly appears that he is well on his way to rediscovering his best form once again.
That may leave some at Old Trafford wondering whether he should get another chance from next season. However, Ferdinand insisted that the time has come for Lingard to move on – but hinted that West Ham cannot expect to have a clear run to his signature.
“He’s fitted in straight away and I can’t see him wanting to go back to Manchester United where he has to play second fiddle to people,” he told his YouTube channel.
“I would move. I would go on. Where we stand right now, I think there’s multiple clubs bidding for Jesse Lingard and he’s going to have a choice of many clubs to go to, other than just West Ham.
“I spoke to Mark Noble the other day, and he said: ‘I can’t believe Rio how good and impressed I am by this kid, the way he plays. I knew he was a good player, don’t get me wrong. But he’s surprised me with how good he is, actually’.”
The brilliance of West Ham’s move is that they signed a player with a real point to prove. Admittedly, that has not always worked out for the Hammers. But it has paid off spectacularly so far in Lingard’s case.
There is a long time until the summer, however. So Lingard’s challenge is to maintain this sort of form for the rest of the campaign.
As things stand, West Ham may welcome a battle for his signature in the coming months – as that will be a sign that he has continued to prove a revelation.