Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard has opened up further regarding his struggles during the 2019/20 season, claiming he lost who he was “as a player and a person”.
Doubts have emerged regarding the Red Devils academy graduate’s future at Old Trafford after almost two decades following a hugely disappointing campaign in which he started only nine Premier League matches and scored one goal – during the 98th minute of stoppage time during the final day win at Leicester that secured Champions League qualification for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.
Bruno Fernandes’ stunning form since his January arrival from Sporting Lisbon coupled with transfer links to a whole host of midfielders including Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish and Leicester’s James Maddison have only served to further fuel that speculation, though Lingard revealed last week that he wanted to stay at boyhood club United.
In a candid assessment of his underwhelming season, the 27-year-old acknowledged that his form had not been good enough and spoke of off-the-field issues earlier in the season that had left him not “mentally right” to play.
Lingard also revealed the need to “get back to the old Jesse” – a theme he expanded on during a heartfelt social media post published on Tuesday.
“Im [sic] starting with the man in the mirror im asking him to change his ways,” the England international said on Instagram, quoting Michael Jackson’s 1988 hit ‘Man in the Mirror’.
“This season has been difficult for so many reasons. I lost who I was as a player and person, but I never wanted to give up, I knew who I really was on and off the pitch and knew that having been there before I could get there again.
“This meant working harder than Id ever done before and trusting in those around me that they knew how to best help me achieve that.
“I know the fans have been frustrated but in all this time my love for this club and everyone connected to it has never left me.
“This team, this club is my family and I will continue to keep working harder than ever to help this team achieve its goals.”