“I was happy sitting on the bench” – Manchester United player reveals

Photo: Getty images

Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard, currently on loan at West Ham, has revealed that he considered taking ‘time out’ due to his personal issues at Manchester United.

“Not quit football, just have a time out really,” Lingard told YouTube show Presenting.

“I was going into games happy sitting on the bench and that’s not me. I was telling my brother the other day, ‘remember when I was happy sitting on the bench and all this?’.

“I didn’t want to play because my mind wasn’t there, I wasn’t focused at all. I was thinking about other things and obviously bottling it all up; trying to play football, you can’t do it.”

Lingard also revealed that his mother has been living with depression

“Through the years we had the help for her, but even just for me it’s hard to bottle things up,” said Lingard.

“It feels like you’re not the same person. I felt like I wasn’t Jesse Lingard. Even in football matches, I felt like the game was just passing me by, like I just didn’t want to be there, it was crazy.

“So, I opened up to United and told them what I was going through, what my mum was going through and they’re always there to help.

“I could have easily quit in lockdown, been like, ‘nah, I don’t want to do it’.

“I could have easily given up but the fight in me always brings me back to life and in lockdown I was just smashing the gym, doing runs. I wanted to get back to training fitter and faster than anyone else and I did that.

“I feel like lockdown has kind of transitioned me in a way. I watched my old games back and watched the World Cup games back and I thought, ‘yeah, that’s the real Jesse Lingard’.

“The time that I had going a couple seasons back or last season, it just wasn’t me at all and you can see that.

“My brother who lives with me, he could see that and he’s got a video of me literally laying on the couch and I’m just staring for three minutes into thin air and he’s just thinking, ‘what is he going through? He’s got the weight of the world on his shoulders.’ And even he didn’t know what I was going through at the time.”

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