On the 19th (Korean time), American media ‘ESPN’ reported, “Al-Ethifaq is ready to reduce the number of foreign players in order to sign Jesse Lingard.”
Lingard was once attracting attention as a potential leader for Manchester United and the England national team. Lingard began playing in earnest in the 2015/16 season after gaining experience on loan at Leicester City and Derby County.
Lingard roamed the stadium with his unique energy and active movements. He was also good at dribbling and passing. Based on his performance at Manchester United, he was also selected for the England national team. However, he did not grow as expected. In particular, he was ridiculed for his somewhat noisy ceremony compared to his skills.
Lingard’s position gradually decreased, and he eventually chose to go on loan to West Ham United during the 2020/21 season. His rental was truly a huge success. He led West Ham to the UEFA Europa League with 9 goals and 4 assists in 19 games.
After a successful loan spell, he returned to Manchester United, but there was still no place for Lingard. During the 2021/22 season, Lingard made 22 appearances. He did not play a small number of games, but made only four starts.
Lingard, who wanted more playing opportunities, declined to renew his contract with Manchester United and headed to Nottingham Forest. He had no reversal in Nottingham. Lingard was released from the team after the end of the season and became a free agent.
Lingard turned his attention to the Saudi Professional League. Al-Etipark, managed by Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard, was expected to be the next destination. In fact, Lingard’s arrival seemed likely, with him training at RET Park and playing in friendly matches.
However, he has not yet signed a formal contract. The reason is because of restrictions on foreign players. The Saudi Professional League currently allows each team to have eight foreign players in their squad. Al-Etifaq currently has 10 foreign players.
In the end, the team needs to be reorganized in order to bring Lingard into the team. According to reports, Al-Etifaq is trying to let go two players to make way for Lingard. Robin Quayson, who plays for the Swedish national team, and Brazilian winger Vitinho are eligible for release.