Transfer news: Jesse Lingard is being chased by Tottenham Hotspur, Everton and Newcastle United
Eddie Howe held talks with the player’s representatives, who is currently a free agent having seen his contract expire at Manchester United last month. Frank Lampard and Antonio Conte are also interested in the service of the 29-year-old Englishman.
A United academy product, Lingard has spent all his playing career on the Red Devils’ books. After a series of loan spells at Leicester City, Birmingham, Brighton & Hove Albion and Derby County, Lingard has been part of the Red Devils’ squad for the past several years.
He went on a short loan again in 2021 to West Ham United. Now without a club, he has attracted a host of interest from other League clubs and given his age and talent, it’s expected.
Where will he fit?
Antonio Conte has been revamping his Spurs side this summer. He has already added the likes of Ivan Perisic, Yves Bissouma, Fraser Forster and Richarlison to his ranks. Apart from this, the Lilywhites are linked with Djed Spence and Clement Lenglet.
While Lingard is no doubt an exceptional player, it is tough seeing him fit in Conte’s 3-4-3 system. An attacking midfielder, he can also play on both sides of the wings. But Tottenham have depth in that area.
Pierre Emile-Hojbjerg, Rodrigo Bentancur, Oliver Skipp and Bissouma complete the midfield while Heung-min Son, Dejan Kulusevski, Ryan Sessegnon, Perisic and Richarlison add depth to the wing side and up front.
Signing Lingard would help in adding depth, but his game time will most likely be limited. With the Premier League’s five substitution rule coming into effect next season, squad depth will be the key to winning games weeks in and out.
But Lingard will most likely need game time, having lacked that in his time at United. Lingard would help add to the homegrown quota of Spurs and would be a good option to have on the bench.
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With a World Cup around the corner, it remains to be seen if Lingard signs for a team where he isn’t a regular starter. Of course, Conte can accommodate Lingard to play in his formation but then, who would he come in for?