Jesse Lingard ‘only at Nottingham Forest for the dough and won’t inspire teammates’, insists ex-West Ham striker Carlton Cole, but talkSPORT host explains why one-year deal is ‘genius’

    Jesse Lingard’s move to Nottingham Forest has split opinion on talkSPORT.

    The former Manchester United midfielder became a free agent in June and chose newly-promoted Forest over West Ham after being offered around £130,000-a-week.

    Nobody saw Lingard ending up at Forest

    Instagram / @jesselingard

    Nobody saw Lingard ending up at Forest

    Many have questioned the England international’s decision to snub the Hammers, who finished seventh last season, in favour of Steve Cooper’s Championship play-off winners.

    Lingard, 29, became a fan favourite at the London Stadium during a six-month loan spell in 2021 but turned down the chance to return and compete in Europe.

    For ex-West Ham striker Carlton Cole, this is just about the money.

    “If Jesse Lingard walks into the changing room and I know what he’s come here for… he’s come for the dough, definitely… that doesn’t inspire me,” Cole said on the Sports Bar.

    “How is that going to inspire me as a player? I’m going to be looking at him thinking, ‘He’s just come for the dough’.

    “For the owners, it’s a calculated risk, I get it. But as a player in that changing room, I’m not raising my game for Jesse Lingard.”

    Lingard left Man United following the expiration of his contract on June 30

    Nottingham Forest

    Lingard left Man United following the expiration of his contract on June 30

    However, co-host Adam Catterall believes the one-year deal is a genius move for both club and player.

    He said: “One-year deal. Yeah, we’ll pay you through the nose, but we want you to come here for one year and the aim is to keep us in the Premier League.

    “He’s basically a gun for hire. Jesse, you’re a Premier League proven player, you want to play for England at the World Cup, come to Nottingham Forest and keep us in the Premier League.

    “From a Nottingham Forest point of view, I think this is genius. I hope this sets a precedent for newly-promoted clubs moving forward.

    Most expected Lingard to reunite with West Ham


    Most expected Lingard to reunite with West Ham

    “Cherry-pick the best players. You can pay them big wages for one year. Come and have a great season with us, then we can have a negotiation and go forward.

    “But if you don’t, you’re not obligated to stay with us. If you have a brilliant season, there are options to go elsewhere.

    “I think it’s a win-win on so many levels. People look at it and go, ‘Jesse’s sold out’ – has he?”

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