According to Dimitar Berbatov, who says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer no longer trusts the midfielder, Jesse Lingard’s “time is up” at Manchester United.
On Saturday, Lingard was handed just his third appearance of the season for United, having seen his new deal at Old Trafford extended at the end of December until 2022.
Before being hauled off for Nemanja Matic, the 28-year-old played 80 minutes of a 1-0 FA Cup third-round win over Watford, but will likely find himself dropped once again when Solskjaer’s side take on Burnley on Tuesday at Turf Moor in the Premier League.
It has been reported that Lingard was only offered a renewal by the Red Devils to prevent losing him for free in the summer, with reports connecting him with a move away from Manchester now that the window of winter transfer is open.
Berbatov claims Solskjaer has already considered England’s international surplus to the requirements, and after slipping too far down the squad pecking order, he does not see his former team-mate turning his future at the Theatre of Dreams around.
“Honestly, his time is up. He’s not playing. He had his chances to shine, to prove how good he is, how good he can be,” he told Stadium Astro.
“It shows that Ole doesn’t trust him enough to play him for the moment. And frankly, right now, he doesn’t have anywhere in the team to play.
“So when you’ve been in one team for so long, and when you’re 28 [years old], you have to look back and say, “Did I do enough? Am I okay with what I did here? My time is up? ‘
I think he has to move, so I think he has to go somewhere else to play.
It’s going to be a smaller team than United, but as long as he gets more opportunities to play, he gets to do what he can do again. I recall him setting off for England and scoring England’s goals.
“But now that is all gone in my opinion and he needs to rediscover some of the form that he used to have before.”
Berbatov’s sentiments were shared by Michael Owen, who also played at Old Trafford alongside Lingard, stating that the playmaker is not in the place he should be in the senior team after so many years.