Jesse Lingard has been urged to leave Manchester United on a permanent basis following his January transfer window loan move.
Lingard has joined West Ham for the remainder of the 2020-21 campaign after finding his first-team chances limited at Old Trafford.
The 28-year-old attacking midfielder has made more than 200 appearances for United but his only three outings for them this term all came in cup competitions.
The England international made an impressive start to his time at West Ham, scoring twice on his debut as they beat Aston Villa 3-1 on Wednesday night.
It remains to be seen where Lingard’s long-term future lies but pundit Paul Merson does not see it being at his boyhood club.
“Jesse Lingard has no future at Manchester United and should leave Old Trafford permanently,” said the former Arsenal ace in his latest Daily Star column.
“Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said all the right things about wanting to build up his confidence on loan at West Ham so they can welcome him back.
“But he was just trying to build up Lingard’s transfer fee. I think he should move on. United are playing all these games and he’s not had a look-in.
“He’s not 21 any more. It’s not like the Arsenal kids going out on loan to get experience.”
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Manchester United smashed nine goals past Southampton on Tuesday night as they bounced back from disappointing results against Sheffield United and Arsenal in emphatic fashion.
The game was effectively over as a contest inside the first two minutes as Southampton were reduced to 10 men, but United still had to find the goals and they did exactly that, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Marcus Rashford, Edinson Cavani, Anthony Martial (two), Scott McTominay, Bruno Fernandes and Daniel James all getting on the scoresheet.
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Merson believes West Ham should try to sign Lingard permanently at the end of the season.
“He was a great signing for West Ham,” Merson added. “He brings them guile and pace – and he scored twice on his debut.
“To be honest I expect the keeper to save both of those shots, but I’m pleased for him. He’s been through a lot.
“He’s not played for a long time. But I can remember when he was in the first team every week and playing for England.
“There will be a few teams kicking themselves they didn’t get him. But he suits West Ham. They should try and sign him in the summer.”