Lingard slams Man Utd for making 'false promises' after having to 'grind out' final year at Old Trafford
- Lingard barely played in final season at Utd
- Was frozen out by Solskjaer & Rangnick
- Has slammed the club ahead of return with Forest
WHAT HAPPENED? In the summer of 2021, Lingard returned to Manchester United after a successful loan spell with West Ham, where he managed nine goals and five assists in 16 appearances in the Premier League. He was unable to kick on from there and re-gain a regular spot in the Red Devils team, first under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and then his interim replacement Ralf Rangnick, as he made just four starts before leaving for Nottingham Forest at the end of his contract in the summer. The United academy graduate has hit out at the club for how he was treated in his final year, having also been denied a proper send-off in front of the Old Trafford faithful.
WHAT THEY SAID: "I don’t know what the problem was, whether it was politics or whatever. I still haven’t got an answer to this day. I didn’t even ask," Lingard told The Telegraph ahead of his first return to United as a Forest player. "I’d rather that someone out of respect for me being there that long told me, ‘This is why you’re not playing’, but I never got that. It was false promises.
"I was training hard and I was sharp, I was ready to play … When you’re working hard in training and don’t play at the end of it, it’s very frustrating. So this is a chance to say my goodbyes because I never really got that. It will be an enjoyable occasion but we want to win the game. You can’t get caught up too much in it emotionally."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Lingard was initially struggling to find his feet at Forest due to injury. However, just before the World Cup he started to get back into top gear and scored his first goal for the club in a 2-0 win over Tottenham in the Carabao Cup. After the international break, he returned to score another against Blackburn to seal a berth in the quarter-finals. He added on his return to form: "The break has been better for my achilles. I couldn’t sprint properly. People wanted me to hit the ground running like I did at West Ham, but it’s sometimes not like that. I was trying to get through games and not feeling 100 per cent. Now I’ve recovered and come back sharp. I can’t wait for the season to start again. In the Tottenham and Palace games, that’s where you saw the real me, with the work ethic, pressing and tackling."
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WHAT NEXT FOR LINGARD? The forward will be itching to settle old scores against United when he gets back on the Old Trafford turf with Nottingham Forest in a Premier League clash on Tuesday evening.