Gary Neville ‘can’t see’ Manchester United letting Jesse Lingard leave to join Newcastle in January.
Speaking on his latest Sky Sports podcast, the pundit felt that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s successful change in formation against Tottenham could have a positive impact on Lingard’s game time this season.
After being humiliated in a 5-0 defeat against Liverpool at Old Trafford last week, the Norwegian drastically changed his formation to a 3-5-2 system, which brought a 3-0 win at Tottenham.
The formation allowed Solskjaer to start both Edinson Cavani and Cristiano Ronaldo up front with Bruno Fernandes in-behind the legendary forwards.
With the width coming from the wing-backs Luke Shaw and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Solskjaer had Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood and Jadon Sancho on the bench alongside Lingard.
Neville said: “People are talking about whether they [Newcastle] can sign players in January. Jesse Lingard has been mentioned. But I can’t see Manchester United, particularly Man United playing that system (letting him go).
“Actually, I think Jesse comes into play even more than before because it suits him more than it does Greenwood, Rashford and Sancho.”
Lingard was linked with Newcastle shortly after the takeover was confirmed, while his representatives were at St James’ Park when the Magpies lost to Tottenham.
Neville speaks about Newcastle issues
Although Neville didn’t feel like Lingard would end up on Tyneside he also commented on the club’s current situation, which leaves us six points off safety with no wins in 10 Premier League games.
“What they have got is a real poor run of results,” said Neville. “They are near the bottom of the table, them and Norwich and they have to do something quickly.
“Otherwise, they will find themselves as a Championship club. They really could. They have to do something really good and pretty quickly. Steve Bruce is gone now and the scapegoat is no longer there. It now turns to someone else. A manager has to come in and hit the ground running.”
If Lingard, whose only start this season has come in the Carabao Cup, was to seek a move in January, there would be a number of top clubs chasing his signature.
And with his current Manchester United contract set to expire in the summer, the Red Devils are highly unlikely to sanction a loan deal in the new year, if he doesn’t sign a new deal.
The England international showed in the second half of last season whilst on loan at West Ham the quality he possesses and the value he brings to a team when playing regularly.
Newcastle would love to have Lingard combining with Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin come January. But as Neville has stated, that looks increasingly unlikely to happen, for this season anyway.