Rio Ferdinand believes Jesse Lingard should have made a “selfish” decision and forced a move away from Manchester United last summer.
The England international saw his stock rise last summer after Lingard impressed during a loan stint at West Ham United under former Manchester United manager David Moyes.
The 29-year-old scored nine goals and made four assists in 16 appearances in the Premier League for the Hammers to help the east London side qualify for the Europa League.
Lingard returned to Manchester United in the summer despite the English midfielder being heavily linked with a permanent switch to West Ham in the summer.
However, the Manchester United youth graduate ultimately remained at the Red Devils to attempt to force his way into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s plans at Old Trafford.
Lingard was a reported target for Newcastle United and some other clubs in the January transfer window but the Red Devils prevented the 29-year-old from leaving Old Trafford.
Former Manchester United captain Roy Keane recently questioned why Lingard didn’t leave the 20-time English champions last summer after his impressive performances at West Ham.
Ferdinand reiterated Keane’s statement and urged Lingard to seize the chance to be selfish if a fresh opportunity arises to kick-start his career elsewhere.
“I think there’s frustration on the side of Jesse Lingard which I can understand,” Ferdinand said on target=”_blank”>the FIVE YouTube channel. “I can understand his frustration because he wanted to leave.
“But Ralf Rangnick said that he was allowed to leave in the beginning of the window. Jesse and his team who decide his future decided that he wanted to stay and see out his contract.
“Something seems to have changed during the transfer window and he then wanted to leave. The timing of it didn’t suit United and at that point the club are well within their rights to retain the player.
“Listen, I agree with Roy Keane, he should have left when he went to West Ham. You have that good moment there, that was the time to leave.
“I don’t want to sound like a broken record but for his sake, that was the perfect moment to leave. I understand he’s got an attachment to United but sometimes you’ve got to be selfish and think about yourself.
“Do you want to propel your career or are you going to stagnate? For whatever reason it hasn’t worked out for him.”
Lingard has scored 35 times in 225 games in all competitions over the past 10 seasons at Manchester United.
The English midfielder established himself as a regular in the Red Devils team under Louis van Gaal in the 2014-15 season.
Lingard has won the FA Cup, the League Cup and the Europa League at Manchester United.
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Source: Sport Review