We’ve barely had time to celebrate Richarlison formally joining Tottenham Hotspur from Everton, but there’s already new rumors and stuff to talk about. So here goes: Mike McGrath at the Telegraph is reporting this morning that Spurs are considering making a move for former Manchester United attacking midfielder Jesse Lingard, now a free agent.
Hey. Hey you reading this — stop laughing.
As the report goes, Spurs are looking to bolster both their central midfield options and their homegrown options, and the 29 year old Lingard — still England’s bright young midfield talent of the future! — is considered someone who could fill that role. Lingard is known more for playing as a 10, but has played deeper in a more creative central midfield role for England.
First, let’s clear up a common misconception: Spurs aren’t actually in a homegrown crisis. In fact, they don’t really need to add any homegrown players to balance out anything with Oliver Skipp aging up and the addition of Fraser Forster this summer, and they’re likely to sign Djed Spence, who is also homegrown. While they’re currently over the limit on non-homegrown players, they’re going to be offloading a number of dudes this summer, either permanently or on loan. So while the role Lingard would ostensibly fill is limited in minutes (and he’d actually be a decent low-rent choice there as an experienced pro) it’d probably be better to target and sign someone actually, y’know, good.
But I guess I don’t hate the idea? Lingard might, though. He’s leaving Manchester United in part because he’s not getting enough minutes, and the role he’d play at Spurs is almost identical to the one he’s leaving at United. It would make a lot more sense for him to land a club like West Ham (where he scored nine goals in 10 games the season before last on loan) or even (cough) Everton.
This report doesn’t make it sound like there’s anything super urgent happening, just a possibility. I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that this isn’t the last time we’re going to be linked with an aging English free agent to plug a homegrown hole that might not really need to be plugged.