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How does the Raiola hire affect Lingard's United future?

Sunday 12th January 2020
The Italian super-agent specialises in transfers, not extending contracts.
The Italian super-agent specialises in transfers, not extending contracts.

January is an extremely tricky time. Transfer-wise, it's rare that you get what you want. Clubs who look to reinforce themselves are often met with firm no's from other sides who're keen to keep ahold of their stars. Players' situations are mixed. Some want mid-season moves while others would prefer to play out the campaign.

These days, Jesse Lingard may well fall into the former. Sky Sports reports that the 27-year-old switched his representative and is now working with superagent Mino Raiola. Let's be honest, the Warrington-born-winger's form is horrible. Since the start of the 2018/19 term, he's scored just four times and grabbed two assists. All the involvements came in December, over twelve months ago...

Lingard loves United from the bottom of his heart, that much is obvious. As United academy product, the goal was to always break into the first-team after flourishing at youth level, though that's not always possible; just ask Ravel Morrison... His contract expires in the summer of 2021 with an option to extend for a further year while sitting on a reported £75k-a-week. Has Lingard brought in Raiola in an effort to bump up his wages?

Another logical explanation for the hire could be Raiola's familiarity with United players. The Italian-born-Dutchman represents both Paul Pogba and Sergio Romero. Raiola is famous for looking after his players and their best interests. Perhaps Lingard has been chatting with his pals about the good work that the 52-year-old has done for them, hence the switch...

Now it's time to address the elephant in the room...

Lingard has been a loyal servant to United. His journey was certainly hard-fought. Loan spells to Derby, Birmingham, Leicester City, and Brighton moulded the then-youngster into the player he is now. Aged 27, Lingard should be in the form of his life. Instead, he's consistently disappointed when given the opportunity.

Then you have the off-the-field stuff. Lingard has been heavily criticised for his overuse of social media, which is something Solskjaer had to address directly in a recent press conference. Maybe his head is elsewhere?

With Raiola now in charge, if Lingard wants a move, eventually he'll get one and they'll be no shortage of interest. It's rumoured that the superagent has already offered the attacker to none other than AC Milan - suffice to say, the Serie A club could offer the Englishman a new lease of life ala Chris Smalling.

Lingard's best asset is his off-the-ball movement, dribbling skill and ability to press. In the modern-day Italian game, all are key traits of an attacker so, despite the language barrier, it could be a wise switch at this stage of his career.

However, United won't let go of Lingard this January. Injuries to Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay have left United's midfield in tatters. They need more bodies in there, not less...

In short, Lingard is protecting his own interests and keeping his options open. If he stays, he demands a wage bump. If he leaves, a warmer climate and more playing time could well await.

One thing is clear: Lingard is showing some tough love for United. Appointing Raiola as his agent is a bold step. It's evident that United are frustrated with their academy product for teaming up with Raiola, who recently claimed that the club would ruin Maradona, Pele, and Maldini. However this one plays out, it's certainly going to be interesting...

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Cherub Rai

Hello, my name is Cherub Rai. I'm an aspiring engineer from India. 

I adore Virat Kohli, MUFC, food, dogs, BFC, Chuck Bass, and scissors. 

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