The new gaffer, Erik ten Hag, is at the helm of the renaissance at Manchester United and is carefully executing his tactics while orchestrating new signings at the club.
For him, a fresh burst of energy needs to be injected and the fat needs to be trimmed out as soon as possible. This strategy has seen Paul Pogba, Juan Mata, and Nemanja Matic move away while fresh blood such as Christian Eriksen, Tyrell Malacia, and Lisandro Martinez have been inducted to bring speed and menace back into the game at Old Trafford.
One of the other names that has been crossed off the roster of United is Jesse Lingard. The Red Devils had enjoyed a love-hate relationship with the Englishman who displayed immense promise in his youth. After careful examination of his skills, the management sent him out on loan to help him develop his style of play and then brought him back to the club, where he was paid £75,000 a week.
But the English forward failed to impress United’s then manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and became a frequent bench warmer. It wasn’t until a loan spell at West Ham United in the 2020/21 season that Jesse impressed with his nine goals in 16 appearances.
The United faithful were pleased and Jesse returned to Old Trafford in the subsequent season. But the promise that he had displayed fell through as United suffered their worst campaign since the inception of the Premier League and finished sixth with Jesse managing only two goals in his 16 appearances.
They decided Jesse has to leave at the expiry of his contract. West Ham came rushing in with a lucrative offer of £150,000 a week, putting him on par with Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold, but the Englishman had his eyes set on £180,000. Enter the newly promoted side to the Premier League, Nottingham Forest.
Forest were quick to act and signed Jesse on a one-year contract, leaving David Moyes in the mud. But it seems odd that Jesse would choose Forest over Europa League contenders, West Ham. The news broke out that Forest have offered the Englishman £200,000 a week, making him their highest-paid player. The Guardian confirmed this.
Needless to say that the Forest fans had their own opinions. They were of the notion that breaking the bank to pay Jesse isn’t wise, especially when he was relieved from his former club for inconsistency and their club can sign at least three to four players with that amount.
But for some fans, if Forest has to succeed, they would have to shell out some big bucks to secure the services of a player whose in-form performances can propel them towards the top half of the table or at least, give them another season in the league.
However, on the contrary, a report published in the Telegraph by sports journalist Sam Wallace puts Jesse’s pay at £80,000 a week plus additional bonuses that may bring his wage to £120,000 a week. This sounds more reasonable to the ardent supporters. The article clearly states that the reports of £200,000 a week that had been doing the rounds were completely not workable for a club like Forest.
Even though it’s a classic case of ‘He said, she said,’ Jesse wins the round as he will make more than what he was doing away with at United. The jury is still trying to understand the truth about Jesse’s salary, but whether it’s a fair amount or unjustified is a debate that doesn’t seem to extinguish anytime soon.