West Ham United insider @ExWHUemployee discussed the future of Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard on his podcast this week. 

Lingard, who came to West Ham on a short-term loan deal in January, was the subject of much transfer debate this summer.

Several reports had reported that the United playmaker may leave his boyhood club to join the Hammers permanently. A deal never materialised, however.

His time in London was a a huge success and even saw him return to Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the Euro 2020 warm-up games and then the recent World Cup qualifiers.

Lingard scored nine goals and produced five assists in 16 games last season for West Ham.

Now, however, he faces stiff competition to get into the United team, with new arrivals Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho likely to push him out.

Ex, who co-hosts The West Ham Way Podcast, spoke this week on various transfer topics following the end of the summer transfer window.

On the subject of Lingard, he said: “Now, whilst he loved his time [at West Ham], I said right at the very start he wasn’t going to join West Ham. He really didn’t want to and then there was a little period where he kind of started to waver a little bit and think, ‘okay, I might do it’.

“So he spoke to West Ham, and I think it just turned out that in order to come, he would have wanted a lot of money to make it worth his while and to be able to convince his dad, but I wouldn’t rule it out him never playing for West Ham again.”

Even though Manchester United is the club he loves, as a Premier League and England national team footballer you need to be playing games.

Lingard will find it very difficult to break into United’s first team, which will only leave him stranded on the bench once more and searching for a new club to gain minutes.

Based on what his role under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks like now, it was the wrong decision for Lingard not to join the Hammers this year. He was playing excellently and starting to revive his career under David Moyes, but now he may have missed the boat.

The rapid improvement of Said Benrahma and the arrival of Nikola Vlasic suggest that even Lingard will find it hard to make Moyes’ starting XI now, even if a January move was on the cards.