Premier League newbies Nottingham Forest have announced the shock signing of Jesse Lingard on a free transfer.
Jesse Lingard, 29, was a free agent after his contract at Manchester United expired in June. The England midfielder, who ended his 22-year association with Man United, had an offer from West Ham but rejected it to sign for Nottingham Forest on an initial one-year contract worth around £200,000 a week. He passed his medical tests on Wednesday night and became Forest’s 11th summer signing.
Forest have shown great ambition in the transfer window following their first promotion to the top flight in 23 long years. Last month, the Midlands outfit side acquired the services of Nigeria forward Taiwo Awoniyi for a club-record £17.5m fee and have recently signed Lewis O’Brien and Harry Toffolo from Huddersfield Town.
The club has also backed their manager Steve Cooper by bringing in the likes of Neco Williams, Moussa Niakhate, Wayne Hennessey, Dean Henderson, Brandon Aguilera, Giulian Biancone and Omar Richards. With more than a month left for the transfer window to slam shut, there remains a possibility for Forest to get in a couple more new faces with Burnley winger Maxwel Cornet linked with a move.
Is Jesse Lingard a coup for Nottingham Forest?
It remains to be seen whether or not Nottingham Forest’s decision to break the club’s transfer record for talented Taiwo Awoniyi bears fruit, but to lure Jesse Lingard away under the noses of West Ham on a free transfer is certainly a major coup.
With more than 200 games for Man United under his belt, Lingard brings a wealth of experience to Steve Cooper’s side whose immediate priority will be to achieve safety in the upcoming Premier League season as quickly as possible. The 29-year-old enjoyed a fruitful loan spell with West Ham during the second half of the 2020/21 season, demonstrating that he’s still got the quality and ability to make a difference at the highest level.
The England international can play anywhere across the attacking midfield, and his burst of pace, movement and goal-scoring ability should add a lot of value to Cooper’s Forest. Just as Moyes got the best out of Lingard in a short spell at West Ham, Cooper could do something similar. He could build a team around Lingard having given the green signal to the Forest owners to make him the club’s highest earner.
Lingard’s arrival at the City Ground is big and getting the fans excited. The Tricky Trees have made as smart a choice as their supporters could have hoped for and the former Man United midfielder is the type of player who will immediately boost the club’s hopes of staying in the top flight.
I am Rohan Sengupta from one of the busiest cities in India, Mumbai. A Journalism graduate with a keen interest in sports, football is something I simply cannot live without and writing, discussing and analyzing the game is what I do 24*7.