Jesse Lingard ‘only at Nottingham Forest for the dough and won’t inspire his team-mates’, insists ex-West Ham striker Carlton Cole, but talkSPORT host explains why one-year deal is ‘brilliant’

Jesse Lingard’s move to Nottingham Forest has divided opinion on talkSPORT.

The former Manchester United midfielder became a free agent in June and chose newly-promoted Forest over West Ham after being offered around £130,000 a week.

Instagram / @jesselingard

No one saw Lingard finish at Forest

Many have questioned the England international’s decision to snub the Hammers, who finished seventh last season, in favor of Steve Cooper’s Championship play-off winners.

Lingard, 29, became a fan favorite at the London Stadium during a six-month loan spell in 2021 but turned down the chance to return and compete in Europe.

For former West Ham striker Carlton Cole, it’s all about the money.

“If Jesse Lingard walks into the locker room and I know why he came here… he came for the dough, definitely… that doesn’t inspire me,” Cole told Sports Bar.

“How will this inspire me as a player? I’m going to look at him thinking, ‘He just came for the dough.

“For the owners, it’s a calculated risk, I understand. But as a player in this locker room, I don’t raise my game for Jesse Lingard.

Lingard left Man United after his contract expired on June 30

Nottingham Forest

Lingard left Man United after his contract expired on June 30

However, co-host Adam Catterall believes the one-year deal is a stroke of genius for both club and player.

He said: “A one-year contract. Yes, we’ll pay you through your nose, but we want you to come here for a year and the goal is to keep us in the Premier League.

“He’s basically a gun for hire. Jesse, you are a confirmed player in the Premier League, you want to play for England in the World Cup, come to Nottingham Forest and keep us in the Premier League.

“From Nottingham Forest’s perspective, I think it’s genius. I hope it sets a precedent for newly promoted clubs.

Lingard expects Lingard to reunite with West Ham


Lingard expects Lingard to reunite with West Ham

“Choose the best players. You can pay them a big salary for a year. Come and have a great season with us, then we can have a negotiation and move on.

“But if you don’t, you don’t have to stay with us. If you have a brilliant season, there are options to go elsewhere.

“I think it’s a win-win on so many levels. People look at him and say, “Jesse is exhausted,” right?

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