Manchester United chief Ed Woodward lodged private enquiry over Jesse Lingard form

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Manchester United chief Ed Woodward enquired whether Jesse Lingard was good enough to come back to Old Trafford last month, according to reports. The England international has been a player reborn at West Ham. And that’s led to talk he could be given a second chance under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Back in January, Lingard decided to leave United.

The England international had struggled under Solskjaer, falling behind the likes of Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba and Donny van de Beek in the pecking order.

So United allowed Lingard to join West Ham, getting an overall fee in the region of £4million for the temporary arrangement.

In the time since, the England international has rediscovered his best form – scoring six goals and registering two assists from eight matches so far.

And, now, The Athletic have opened up on an enquiry submitted by Woodward last month.

It’s claimed the United supremo wanted to know if Lingard was good enough to return to Old Trafford and become an important part of Solskjaer’s squad.

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However, it’s unclear what he was told – and what the future holds for the 28-year-old.

United could try and tie Lingard down to a new contract to protect his value, something the club have done with the likes of Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones in the past.

Or they may use him in a swap deal with West Ham for Declan Rice, with Solskjaer, John Murtough and Darren Fletcher all sold on the England international ahead of the summer.

Lingard, for his part, will be focused on making Gareth Southgate’s squad for the upcoming European Championships.

And whether he can maintain his fine form and propel West Ham into the Champions League, something that seemed unfeasible months ago, remains to be seen.

Speaking last month, Solskjaer opened up on the decision to loan out Lingard – insisting it was a ‘no-brainer’ for both player and club.


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“It has really worked out for Jesse, for David and for us as a club as well,” said the 48-year-old.

“We know Jesse’s position is a 10 and we’ve got Bruno (Fernandes) there.

“For me, it was a no-brainer to get Jesse a chance to prove himself and play some football again. He has been really bright for them. He’s finally back to himself.”

Former West Ham star Trevor Sinclair recently claimed Lingard had to go to the Euros at the end of the season – and hailed him for chancing his arm elsewhere.

“He was a breath of fresh air with his performance,” he said after Lingard flourished against San Marino.

“He was fresh, he was hungry, the quality he possessed on the evening was superb.

“He looks hungry and that he’s really enjoying his football. I’ve seen his interview where he said ‘I could have felt sorry for myself and given in’.

“Again another story where you’ve been to the heights and got to a crossroads, you either roll your sleeves up and have a go or feel sorry for yourself and trip over your lip. He’s gone for the former.

“He’s been brilliant for West Ham. I wasn’t surprised with that performance. He was getting on little angles, he knows when to have one or two touches, his movement and breaking lines off the ball.

“His fitness could be really key in Gareth’s decision.

“When you play against international teams, it’s alright everyone getting the ball to feet and playing pretty football, but you’ve got to make a lot of the unselfish, lung busting runs in behind defences and lines. That’s what breaks and disorganises defences.

“He has that in abundance and Gareth knows that and will think he could be a key player for England.

“He could have sat at Manchester United and said ‘I should be playing, I’m fit but the gaffer is not giving me an opportunity’.

“He’s almost taken that decision away from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, gone out on loan, he knows David Moyes and probably had conversations and said ‘I want to play straight from the off, I’m ready, I’m fit and raring to go’.

“He’s gone in there, talk about hit the ground running and scored a worldie last weekend as well.

“He’s come in and taken that confidence, belief and anger – that performance last night, even though he didn’t score, was outstanding. He was up there for man of the match.

“He’s played himself into a position where he’s odds on to go.”

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