On Thursday, Jesse Lingard signed a new contract to keep him at Manchester United for a further four years, here is why he deserves to stay at the club.
Manchester United announced on Thursday that Jesse Lingard will sign a new contract keeping him at the club for a further four years with the option to extend for a further year with the player getting a significant pay wise where he will now be getting to the tune of 100 thousand pounds a week. Lingard’s renewal hasn’t exactly been met with an overwhelming positive reaction from the Manchester United fan base for various reasons – he isn’t particularly flashy on the ball, he isn’t the best passer on the ball nor is the best finisher of chances.
Lingard will never be the type of player who is the name on the team sheet for Manchester United like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba or David De Gea nor is he or ever will be one of United’s best players at the club. So why does he deserve a new contract at the club, especially one that sees him almost triple his wages to a hundred thousand a week?
Well, the first thing to address is that Lingard does not deserve that kind of money on a weekly basis, he’s a squad player and that kind of money for a squad player is rather ridiculous and is pretty big indictment of how crazy football has gotten in regards to spending money. But what Manchester United decides to spend on Lingard is up to them and with the money that United receive from TV money and revenue coming into the club from sponsorships and how-else United make their money.
Regardless of what Jesse Lingard makes, he is needed at the club. As previously mentioned, he isn’t the best player at the club nor will he ever be anything more than a squad player but what people need to remember is that squad players are needed for teams, especially if United are in Europe next season – whether it be the Europa Leauge or the Champions League. Lingard is an excellent option for any club that is looking for depth; he’s a hard worker and can play on either wing or behind the striker as a number ten.
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More importantly for Lingard, he’s a player who has come up through the club from the youth academy since the age of seven and he is a symbol of everything that the club represented and was built on by Sir Matt Busby in the 1950s and the 1960s with the ‘Busby Babes’ and Sir Alex Ferguson with the ‘Class of 92’ among others. Lingard is very much like Danny Welbeck in the sense that he is not going to be a regular first-teamer but he is a player who offers depth to a team and can do a job for his team when required.
Welbeck excelled on the wing for United under Ferguson and went under the radar for his performances in the season that United last won the league in 2012/13 for how he managed to create space and chances for the team and played a pivotal role for United against Real Madrid in the Champions League in keeping Xabi Alonso out of the game when Ferguson famously dropped Wayne Rooney in favour of Welbeck to play this role. Welbeck never should have been sold by the club in 2014 to Arsenal and neither should have Johnny Evans to West Brom, both players came up through the youth team and both had roles to play at the club.
What is important to remember is that Lingard isn’t going to stop the club from making any major transfers this summer. United desperately need to improve their attack in the summer window as their conversion rate is poor in comparison to the amount of chances that they create but this won’t stop the club from targeting players to improve that. What does need to be remembered is that football is not like FIFA and you cannot just sign all the major superstars in the world and hope that it all clicks together.
This is something that Real Madrid had to learn in the early 2000s during Florentino Perez’s first reign as Madrid president when they brought in the Galáctico era where they sought to play world-class players such as David Beckham, Ronaldo, Michael Owen, Zidane, Figo among others and ultimately failed to win anything as the team became unbalanced after selling Claude Makélélé to Chelsea in 2004.
Sir Alex Ferguson himself won plenty of trophies at Manchester United and while his all-conquering team of 2007-2009 won three Premiership titles in a row and the Champions League in 2008 while making a 2009 appearance with the devastating trio of Wayne Rooney, Carlos Tevez and Cristano Ronaldo along with a world-class defence with Patrice Evra, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Edwin Van Der Staar – he also used effective players such as John O’Shea, Wes Brown, Darren Fletcher and Ji-Sung Park. Players that normally wouldn’t be considered big names by any stretch of the imagination but players who helped United win plenty of trophies.
Jesse Lingard is a good player, not a great player but a good one. If United want to win trophies, they’ll need to play a lot of games like they already have this season then they will need a greater depth in players who can play in different positions adequately well.
Lingard is that type of player and more importantly, he is a player who rises to the big occasions as we have seen from him in the last year with him scoring the winner against Crystal Palace to give United their first FA Cup trophy in twelve years and he scored against Southampton as well in the EFL Cup Final just two months ago as well.
Players like Lingard are important and while the wages that the club are offering him are massive and should be question, it should be noted among the United fanbase that Jesse Lingard is somebody who deserves to stay at the club for the foreseeable future and can play a role in the team’s future successes.