Manchester United fans had less than fond words for Jesse Lingard following his move to South Korean side FC Seoul.
Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano reports that Lingard has joined the K League 1 outfit on a two-year deal. The English winger had been a free agent after leaving Nottingham Forest this past summer.
Lingard, 31, signed his contract with FC Seoul yesterday and it will be the first time the former Manchester United man has headed out of European football. He’s spent the majority of his career at Old Trafford.
The Englishman made 232 appearances for the Red Devils, scoring 35 goals and providing 21 assists. However, he was unable to establish himself as a regular starter consistently.
Lingard‘s best form came on loan at West Ham United during the second half of the 2020-21 season. He appeared 16 times across competitions for the Hammers, bagging nine goals and five assists.
The veteran attacker returned to Manchester United following that loan but struggled for game time. He left the Old Trafford giants in July 2022, joining Forest where he failed to impress.
Lingard touched on his move to FC Seoul by explaining how he wanted to enjoy playing football again. He said during his unveiling (via Sky Sports):
“I’m really excited, it’s a new challenge but I’ve accepted it. Im here, i’m ready to embrace the culture. I just want to enjoy playing football again and putting a smile on people’s faces.”
However, some Red Devils fans have questioned the move with the consensus being that he’s suffered a fall from grace.
One fan opined:
“This is the biggest downfall I’ve ever seen.”
Another fan alluded to Lingard’s former manager Jose Mourinho‘s past criticism:
“Lingard going to Korea..SMH . Mourinho was right all along.”
Here’s how fans on X (formerly Twitter) reacted to Lingard’s move to FC Seoul:
Mourinho named Lingard as one of four of his former Manchester United stars who were ‘spoilt’
Mourinho spent just over two years (July 2016 to December 2018) in charge of Manchester United. The Portuguese tactician oversaw a squad brimming with promising talent, including Lingard and Marcus Rashford.
However, the former Red Devils boss found issues with several players during his tenure. He shed light on this in an interview with Bulgarian icon Hristo Stoichkov in 2018, raising concerns about players’ attitudes (via talkSPORT):
“They are lacking maturity. When I say that, I mean maturity at a personal level. We are more men, we are more mature, we were more prepared to face life. We were less protected. In England, they call it ‘spoilt’.”
Mourinho went on to name four Manchester United players, including Lingard, as youth talent who didn’t have the right attitudes:
“When we talk about Luke Shaw, [Anthony] Martial, [Jesse] Lingard, [Marcus] Rashford, we’re talking about kids with great potential but still lack a word I can’t say but that you like a lot… they lack a bit of that. Character, personality, as they say in Spain as well, bad blood, that natural aggression that you had.”
Lingard is the only one of those four players to have left Old Trafford since Mourinho’s reign. Rashford recently caused controversy after spending a night out binge drinking and calling in sick for training. He was reportedly fined two weeks’ wages (£650,000) for his indiscipline.