Jesse Lingard insists he is “misunderstood” ahead of Man Utd return

December 17, 2022

Jesse Lingard is set to return to Manchester United for the first time since leaving the club when his Nottingham Forest side travel to Old Trafford on December 27.

Jesse Lingard has claimed that he is “misunderstood” by some fans and people in the game as he prepares for his highly-anticipated return to Manchester United later this month.

The 30-year-old scored his first Nottingham Forest goal just before the World Cup break and was beginning to find his feet after coming back into the Reds starting XI. Lingard had struggled for form at the start of the season following his move to The City Ground on a free transfer in the summer

But Lingard fired in his first for the club as they ran out 2-0 winners over Tottenham last month – a moment that meant so much to the attacking midfielder. Now, Lingard will be keen to help Forest to more wins as they return to action against Blackburn Rovers in the Carabao Cup next Wednesday.

This is all before Forest travel to United in their first Premier League game back on December 27 – a game Lingard must be relishing after he didn’t sign a new contract at the club. Ahead of the game, Lingard has spoken about how he is misread by some people and explained how he actually conducts himself on and off the pitch.

He told The Athletic : “Am I misunderstood? Yes, sometimes. But I love training. I love football. I love games. I always want to work hard. That is how you get the best out of me, when I work hard.

“There might be a tackle that lifts the crowd or just a moment that makes the crowd sit up and think, ‘He is on it today’. You need that intensity. I love winning.

I could stay on the training ground all day. But the hard work side of things should be pretty normal for any professional, shouldn’t it? I can be misunderstood at times. But I will just carry on. I will do what I do and not listen to the noise.

Lingard has been criticised in the past for how he conducts himself off the field – especially since he launched the clothing brand ‘JLingz’ in the week before his team faced Liverpool in December 2018. However, Lingard insists that football has always been his priority – with his brand also bolstering an esports team.

“It is a balance. But football is my number one. That will be my love, no matter what. When I train I train at 100%. But when I come home, I might do something with regard to the business side of things. I might look at JLINGZ or at the social media stuff… it takes your mind away from certain things,” he added.

“I like to keep busy and I do want to explore a lot of different things, as well as football. I am into fashion, I am into gaming. I like to have interests away from football. But that does not mean I do not have a passion for the game. I do. I work hard every single day to make sure that I am ready.