Bengaluru, July 22: As per reports in England, Everton have joined the long list of clubs keeping tabs on the situation of Jesse Lingard at Manchester United. The 28-year-old has seen a turnaround in his fortunes following a six-month loan spell with West Ham United and his stocks has never been higher. The Hammers are desperate to keep the Englishman at the London Stadium but David Moyes could face competition from his old club with Rafael Benitez also keen on the in-form attacking midfielder.
Everton have already started their transfer business for the summer having already signed Andros Townsend and Asmir Begovic. The Toffees are also believed to be closing in on a deal to land Demarai Gray from Bayer Leverkusen, a player who was a part of the Premier League-winning Leicester City side. Burnley winger Dwight McNeil is also believed to be a target of Rafael Benitez but the Merseyside club face competition from Aston Villa for the signature of the 21-year-old.
A period of six months has completely changed the trajectory of Lingard's career. The 28-year-old failed to make a single appearance for the Red Devils in the Premier League in the first half of the last season but following his loan move to West Ham, he has been one of the best players in the top division of English football if not the absolute best.
The English international made a huge contribution behind the Hammers' successful season having scored nine goals and creating five for his teammates in just 16 outings in the Premier League. Benitez has always been more of an old-school manager who likes to play direct and counter-attacking football and his transfer activity suggests that he is likely to use such a system at Goodison Park as well.
Jesse Lingard's success at West Ham was no coincidence with the 28-year-old making his mark in a system that suits his game. He is exactly the kind of a player who suits managers like Rafael Benitez and David Moyes. Lingard's most productive spell at Manchester United was under Jose Mourinho who also uses more direct and counter-attacking tactics.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has recently stated that Lingard remains a part of his plans for the future but there is no way that a solid loan spell away from Old Trafford will be enough for the Englishman to pave his way into the starting XI of his boyhood club, especially with the Red Devils set to sign Jadon Sancho.
He is already 28 years of age and is on the back of the best six-month spell of his career. There couldn't be better timing for the attacking midfielder to finally leave his boyhood club and find himself a new home. With West Ham United struggling financially, Lingard's return to the London Stadium looks unlikely. And, a move to Everton could prove to be his next best option.