Manchester United’s decision to award Jesse Lingard a new four-year contract has received widespread criticism from the social media with some sections of the United fans and pundits claiming the English winger does not really deserve the £100,000 per week wage he will earn.
While paying a player like Lingard such an amount should not literally be a problem and a financial one at that for United, with Paul Pogba on £290,000 a week and Wayne Rooney on £250,000 a week salaries and all our potential targets would definitely earn well above that. But the question is the 24-year-old really the sort of player United can rely on now or in the future?
Though he has been restricted, the England international has just 17 league appearances to his name this season, and his 937 minutes, a single goal and two assists in the league put him at the bottom of the ladder of United’s attacking players.
Saved for the three goals he scored at Wembley helping United to win the FA Cup, League Cup and Community Shield, he has not really developed into the player that is ready to shoulder responsibilities nor worth that amount on his new contract, especially, when compared with other England internationals – players of his age grade and similar positions- who have featured more and contributed more for the respective clubs.
Adam Lallana, Theo Walcott, Dele Alli, Raheem Sterling, Ross Barkley and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have all featured more prominently for their clubs than Lingard, with some providing a goal or assist more than him, yet some of them – stark comparisons are Oxlade and Allli- don’t earn as much as Lingard.
While his new actual wage can be considered largely irrelevant due to the spectrum of United’s finances, and the crazy wage in the Premier League, the reward of a four-year deal for a player who has done little to show he is of United pedigree, despite being at the club since the age of seven, showed the degree of degeneration of United state since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson.