Get to know the 29-year-old England international attacker who joins Steve Cooper’s “Tricky Trees” after more than two decades with Manchester United.
Ahead of their long-awaited reintroduction to the Premier League, newly promoted Nottingham Forest have a major signing to celebrate: winger/attacking midfielder Jesse Lingard has joined the club on a free transfer from Manchester United.
A graduate of the Man United academy, Lingard rose up the Red Devils’ youth ranks alongside phenoms like Marcus Rashford. After a 22-year association with the club that began when he was just seven years old, Lingard will now swap red shirts to plant new roots at Nottingham Forest to help the club re-establish its footing in the Premier League for the first time in 23 years.
After a successful loan spell with West Ham United in 2021, all signs pointed to Lingard becoming a permanent fixture at the London club. His larger-than-life personality was embraced by his Hammers teammates, and he rewarded that trust with an impressive nine goals and five assists in just 16 appearances.
The loan spell’s success sparked a new interest from clubs that couldn’t fully scout Lingard due to his limited high-leverage minutes at United. All told, his creativity and goal-scoring capabilities made him a more than sensible transfer target — especially given his free agent status following 2021-22 that precluded the need to pay a transfer fee.
West Ham and Newcastle United were linked to securing the services of the 29-year-old midfielder and winger. However, money talks in world football — perhaps more than in any other professional sport — and Nottingham Forest made Lingard an irresistible offer.
Let’s dig into everything you need to know about Forest’s new No. 10 and his role in helping to ensure that their Premier League return isn’t just a one-and-done.
Jesse Lingard Contract & Transfer Details
Contract length and wages as reported by Sky Sports.
Contract length: 1 year
Estimated weekly wages: $138,500 (£115,000)
Estimated annual wages: $7,203,000 (£5,980,000)
Free agency: 2023
Transfer fee: None
Estimated market value: $19,080,000 (via Transfermarkt)
Jesse Lingard’s Stats Per 90 Minutes
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How Lingard Fits in at Nottingham Forest
The quality of the player isn’t the only factor benefitting Forest heading into the 2022-23 season. The club will also hope to use the England international’s name recognition to attract additional veteran free agents and rising stars. The Athletic previously reported that Forest have set aside nearly $84 million in order to make as many as 11 new signings in the summer transfer window; the latter number would be the Premier League’s high watermark for the season.
Getting Lingard through the door early is key in approaching bigger targets using his international influence.
On the pitch, Forest have already given Lingard the No. 10 shirt, a strong signal that he’s meant to fill the role of central attacking midfielder. Forest’s tactics under manager Steve Cooper rely heavily upon the attacking ability of a playmaker at the tip of the midfield spear, often the lone man behind the two forwards in a 3-4-1-2 formation.
Like his role at West Ham, Jesse Lingard will have to win balls in the midfield, shuttle it ahead to the final third, and either take his own chances or set up teammates making cutting runs in from the flank. If he can compete at the level he displayed at West Ham, his stock rises even higher, making him an intriguing free agent again at the end of the season.