Manchester [UK], June 2 (ANI): Manchester United have confirmed that Jesse Lingard will leave the Premier League club when his contract expires at the end of June.
An Academy graduate and dyed-in-the-wool Red, Jesse has been with United for over 20 years, having originally joined club’s Under-9s team in 2001. He was a key member of Warren Joyce’s FA Youth Cup-winning side in 2011, scoring in the first leg of the 6-3 aggregate final victory over Sheffield United.
Following various loan spells in the Championship, Jesse made his United debut under Louis van Gaal in 2014 and became a regular presence in the first team the following season. He scored six goals in 40 appearances across all competitions during that 2015/16 campaign, including a stunning extra-time winner at Wembley as United came from behind to beat Crystal Palace in the FA Cup final and seal the 12th triumph in the competition.
In doing so, he joined a very select group of players who had scored in winning FA Youth Cup and FA Cup finals – and Jesse wasn’t done there.
Two further strikes at the national stadium in 2016/17 helped the Reds capture the Community Shield and EFL Cup, while Lingard was on the pitch alongside friend and fellow homegrown star Marcus Rashford in May 2017, helping United make history in Stockholm by clinching the Europa League – the only major title missing from our trophy cabinet.
It was a milestone campaign for Jesse, as he signed a new long-term contract with United and made his senior England debut in a 2-0 win over Malta in October 2016. Jesse passed the landmark of 100 appearances for the club a year later and enjoyed arguably the best spell of United career either side of Christmas in 2017, netting nine goals across a 13-game period for Jose Mourinho’s side to claim our Player of the Month prize.
Utilised as a no.10, a winger or occasionally a withdrawn forward, Lingard continued to be an important attacking figure when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took the helm and he bagged a brace as the Norwegian’s spell in caretaker charge got off to the perfect start with a 5-1 win at Cardiff City in December 2018.
He also scored a vitally important late goal at Leicester to have the final say in the dramatic 2019/20 season and confirm Champions League qualification for United. He caught the eye while on loan at West Ham United during the second half of the 2020/21 term, scoring nine times in 16 games to help David Moyes’s side to a Europa League spot.
Lingard returned to United after the summer and he came back to haunt the Hammers, curling home an 89th-minute winner in a dramatic contest at the London Stadium. This goal would turn out to be the last of 35 strikes for the club he first came to as an eight-year-old. Now, aged 29, he leaves with 232 United appearances and 32 England caps under his belt.
“We’d like to take this opportunity to thank Jesse for all of the memories he’s helped create during his two decades here and wish him the best of luck in his future career,” United in a statement said. (ANI)