Rio Ferdinand urge in-form player to leave Manchester United

Photo: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has urged in-form Manchester United loanee Jesse Lingard to leave the club.

The former United defender believes the England international is too good to be playing second fiddle and should not consider a return to the club.

The 28-year-old has impressed since joining West Ham on loan in January, scoring three times and providing one assist in his first four appearances for the East London club.

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has opened the door for the player to return back to the club, but Ferdinand had urged him to build his career elsewhere.

“I spoke before about this and said I thought Jesse should close a chapter on Man United because he hasn’t been a part of the squad, he hasn’t been a part of the team for ages,” said Ferdinand on his FIVE YouTube channel.

“You see the smile on his face now, the way he’s playing football, the confidence he seems to have. There’s a glint in his eye again that I haven’t seen for two years.

“How can he want to go back to being a bit-part player after tasting this? He’s fitted in straight away and I can’t see him wanting to go back to Man United where he’s going to have to play second fiddle to people.

“Because he will, he’ll have to play second fiddle to Bruno Fernandes in that position [in the hole], he’ll have to play second fiddle to anyone playing up front or wide.

“I’m not saying that he’s not good enough, I’m saying that’s what I’ve been shown from the selections of the team and the squads that have been picked. So going off that I would move, I would go on.

“I said before, a successful end of the season would be multiple clubs bidding for Jesse Lingard. Where we stand right now, I think multiple clubs will bid for Jesse Lingard and he is going to have a choice of many clubs to go to other than just West Ham.

“Even a few of my pundit mates off camera have said ‘Oh he’s not Man United [quality]’, I’ve always maintained that Jesse Lingard is a Man United player, a top-level footballer, a proper player.

“Proper footballer, plays off one touch, plays off two touch, always on the move, always gets into good positions and can score goals. And big goals at times he’s proved that.

“But the team has got to play the way that suits him and he needs that confidence as well.

“I spoke to Mark Noble the other day, the West Ham captain, and he said: ‘I can’t believe Rio how good and impressed I am by this kid, the way he plays. I knew he was a good player, don’t get me wrong, but he’s surprised me by how good he is actually’.”