Now 29 years of age and still struggling for game time at Old Trafford, Jesse Lingard looks set to finally leave Manchester United this January with his contract set to expire at the end of the season.
A loan spell at West Ham United last term seemed to rejuvenate Lingard, but back at Old Trafford he’s found himself behind the likes of Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes and Mason Greenwood, failing to start a single one of the club’s 22 Premier League games so far this term.
From the bench, the attacking midfielder has still shown his quality at times, finding the net in wins over Newcastle and, inevitably, West Ham, but after 22 years with the Red Devils time on his United career finally appears to be up.
But where is he headed? We take a look at the dream, realistic and wildcard options here.
West Ham fans will undoubtedly have been dreaming of a return to the London Stadium for Jesse Lingard in the summer after his stunning loan spell with the club during the latter stages of the 2020/2021 campaign.
In just 16 appearances with the Hammers, Lingard found the net no fewer than nine times and appeared to be playing with a new-found confidence which had been lacking during lengthy periods of being left out of the Manchester United team.
By the end of the summer window, West Ham instead turned to Nikola Vlasic, but the former CSKA Moscow man has managed just four starts so far this season, so perhaps another move for Lingard could tempt David Moyes?
The Hammers are very much in the hunt for a top four finish this season – could another run of unstoppable Lingard form help achieve the Champions League dream in East London?
Jesse Lingard club after January transfer window odds (via Sky Bet)
While Newcastle look to not only avoid relegation this season but also attempt to build a squad to compete towards the higher reaches of the Premier League in the coming years, Jesse Lingard could prove to be the perfect profile of signing for them right now.
An FA Cup and Europa League winner while at Manchester United, Lingard would bring the right mentality to this Newcastle outfit and as we saw from the nine goals he scored in just 16 appearances while on loan at West Ham last season, he has the ability to lead from the front in the Premier League.
The Magpies do have other options in this area of the pitch, with Dele Alli of Tottenham also being linked with a move to St James’ Park, but Lingard has had more success, more recently than Alli if Eddie Howe decides to go for someone more proven at the desired level.
There are also reports that Manchester United have moved to block the initial approach from Newcastle, but as time runs out in the window the Red Devils may see this destination as preferable to him joining a top four competitor such as Tottenham or West Ham.
Although Jose Mourinho’s time at Manchester United was hardly seen as a success by the end, he did always seem to have a strong relationship with Jesse Lingard.
The 29 year old has previously credited the Portuguese manager with turning him into a ‘winner’, so maybe tempted by a reunion with his former boss who is now in charge of Serie A giants Roma.
Mourinho’s primarily defensive tactics actually suited Lingard at Old Trafford as they allowed him to use his pace on the counter-attack and the Roma midfield could benefit from his acceleration when adopting a more restricted shape against the better sides in Italian football.
No fewer than three English players are at Stadio Olimpico with la Maggica at the moment in Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Tammy Abraham and Chris Smalling and Lingard could be tempted to join them this January.