By George Overhill

4th May, 2022 | 10:40am

Man United return has put Jesse Lingard way back after West Ham United high - Charlie Austin

Jesse Lingard’s decision to return to Manchester United after success on loan at West Ham has hindered his career says Charlie Austin.

The attacker enjoyed a highly fruitful spell at the London Stadium in the second half of last season, scoring nine times in just 16 games, but returned to Old Trafford expecting to play an important role.

Instead he has been a bit part player, failing to complete 90 minutes once in all competitions, and was left on the bench for what would have been a final home appearance on Monday (2 May), prompting a furious reaction online from his brother for not being given a send off in the way Edinson Cavani, Juan Mata, and Nemanja Matic were (Mirror).

With his contract up in the summer, Austin expects the Hammers to go head to head with Newcastle for his signature.

Speaking on talkSPORT the QPR striker said: “With Jesse Lingard, staying at Man United for the following year, I think he’s taken two or three steps back, I really do,”

“His stock was so high at West Ham, every week goals or assists. He went there and really changed their season, his stock was so high. 

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

“Then he wants to go back to Manchester United and fight for his place and unfortunately he just couldn’t get it right, and this year it’s not worked out and now you’re looking at it, what’s the possibilities for Jesse Lingard now?”

“Now it’s time for him to have a clean break and I just felt like last year at West Ham that was the time for him to go.

“You’d have to say West Ham [as a destination], you’d have to put Newcastle in the mix. Every player that’s part of the top six that’s no longer wanted by their clubs, Newcastle’s name is going to pop up.”


Whether he was brought back to Manchester under false pretences or not it has proven to be the wrong decision.

A dismal campaign for the team, that saw Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replaced by Ralf Rangnick, looks like leaving them without Champions League football next year, let alone a trophy.

In contrast, David Moyes has taken the Hammers to the semi-finals of the Europa League, and if the England international had returned at the start of the year there is no telling where they would be in the league.

Much has been made of the size of the Irons squad, particularly after the failure to strengthen in January.

So if Lingard had been able to emulate his form from last season it would have made a big difference.

Moyes will surely be interested again in the summer, particularly as a free transfer, but Newcastle have been throwing a lot of money around and could tempt him to their new project.

If the Hammers were able to qualify for the Champions League via victory in the Europa League final, it would certainly provide Lingard with a major opportunity to stick two fingers up at his current employers if they miss out as expected.

In other West Ham news, one lesser-spotted Iron has raved about the experience of being at such an “addictive” club this year.

Be sure to follow West Ham Zone on Facebook for 24/7 updates on the Hammers plus more exclusive interviews with Frank McAvennie.