Jesse Lingard gets Saudi lifeline as ex-Man Utd star seals Al-Ettifaq ‘training deal’ | Football | Sport
Jesse Lingard will train with Saudi Pro League club Al-Ettifaq for a month as the former Manchester United boss considers his next move. Al-Ettifaq, managed by Steven Gerrard, confirmed the decision on Friday, with Lingard still without a club almost two months into the season.
Lingard left Nottingham Forest as a free agent in July after his one-year contract at the City Ground expired.
The 30-year-old disappointed fans at the City Ground, registering only two goals and two assists in 20 appearances for Steve Cooper at that time-promotion side.
He has bided his time to choose his next destination but could be the next high-profile name to land in Saudi Arabia.
On Friday, Al Ettifaq announced that Lingard would train with Gerrard’s squad for a month, with the likely hope of a move being made.
Club statement read: “An agreement has been reached that the English player Lingard will join the training of Fares Al-Dahna for a month.
“The management of Al-Ettifaq Club, under the leadership of Mr. Samer Al-Meshal, approved the recommendation of the Football Committee to accept the request of the English player Jesse Lingard to join the training of the first football team at Al-Ittifaq Club for a period. of one month.
“Lingard’s choice of Al-Dahna Fees comes because of its history and heritage, as well as the stardom of the team’s players and the professionalism of the administrative and technical work within the corridors of the club.”
There had been some suggestions that Lingard was on the verge of a return to West Ham United, where he left United on loan in the second half of the 2020/21 season.
Lingard scored nine goals and provided five assists for the Hammers in 16 games, helping David Moyes challenge for the top four.
He was training with Moyes’ first team at Rush Green as recently as this month to maintain his fitness, but the Scot has apparently opted not to bring him back to the London Stadium.
Gerrard has not recruited the same big-name roster as Saudi rivals Al Ettifaq, but he has brought established names to the Middle East.
Jack Hendry, Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum, Demarai Gray and Moussa Dembele joined the Saudi revolution ahead of the deadline earlier this month.
And Gerrard will be hoping that Lingard can prove his quality during what will be seen as a trial period for the former Red Devils star.
Lingard left youth club United when his contract expired last summer after registering 35 goals and 21 assists in 232 appearances.
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