Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick clears the air on why Jesse Lingard did not play vs Brentford
Speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of the Brighton game tomorrow, as quoted by the club’s official website, Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick gave his take on why he decided against bringing on midfielder Jesse Lingard against Brentford earlier in the week.
Lingard is out of contract in the summer and is expected to leave as a free agent. United’s last home game of the current campaign against the Bees provided a chance for some of the departing players to take to the field in front of the home fans one last time, but the Englishman was left on the bench.
When asked why the midfielder was not utilised more this year, Rangnick responded by saying that Lingard has played more under him than he did before. The German also said that another reason for leaving him out of the Brentford game was because he was asked to be released to attend to some personal reasons in the past few weeks.
“To start with, I think in the last couple of weeks under my tenure, he has played far more games than he used to before I came. Number two, on gameday against Chelsea, he contacted me in the hotel and asked me to release him from the game and release him from the training session the following day or two days after the Chelsea game for some personal, family reasons and I also allowed him to do that.”
The former RB Leipzig manager seems to have hinted at the fact that Lingard has missed out on a few training sessions and may not be match fit, which could be the reason why he did not come on in their 3-0 win over Thomas Frank’s men at home.
“You have to take a decision”
Rangnick instead brought on Phil Jones, Edinson Cavani, and Fred as his three substitutes. Cavani, like Lingard, is another player whose contract expires in the season. Mata, another free agent in the summer, started his first Premier League game of the campaign and it was an emotional send-off for the Spaniard at Old Trafford.
This was afforded to Lingard, which is something that even angered his brother. The Englishman has spent more than two decades at Man United and in all fairness, deserved a proper send-off in our last home game of the season.
The German said that decisions have to be taken when only three substitutions are allowed in the English top-flight and that they may not be to the liking of everyone. Perhaps he was sending a message to his other stars, saying that such situations were part of the game.
“With only three subs and two already done, or the first one had already been done, you have to take a decision. This will not be to the liking of everybody, it’s also part of the game.”
Lingard is one of the success stories at United, coming through the ranks at the club’s academy and breaking into the first team thereafter. Alongside Marcus Rashford, Paul Pogba, and Dean Henderson, the midfielder has set the standards for other youngsters at Carrington.
His rise to the top may very well have inspired starlets like Hannibal Mejbri and Alejandro Garnacho this season to knock on the doors of the senior squad and demand their chances to impress. Unfortunately for Lingard however, his time at his boyhood club now seems to be coming to an end.
Ever since the previous season, the 29-year-old has struggled to make an impact on the senior side. He was even sent on loan to West Ham United in the second half of the previous campaign, where he reminded everyone of his qualities after continually putting in impressive performances and helping the Hammers qualify for the Europa League.
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However, that spell at the London Stadium neither earned him a move to West Ham last summer nor convinced his parent club to play him more this term. Lingard’s frustration at not being picked can be understood, and if he decides to leave for free at the end of the campaign, then fans will hope that they get to see more of him in the remaining two games of the season and bid a proper farewell.