- Lingard deemed not fit enough
- Hammers wary of time to regain shape
- Free agent training with Al-Ettifaq
WHAT HAPPENED? Lingard spent a large part of the summer training with the Hammers, even lining up in pre-season friendlies. But a deal never materialised, resulting in the former Manchester United man jetting off to Saudi Arabia for a one-month training programme with Steven Gerrard's Al-Ettifaq. Football Insider report that Hammers boss David Moyes and his coaching staff deemed Lingard's fitness to be short of Premier League standard and felt it would take the winger too long to reach to the required level.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Moyes is clearly a fan of Lingard, who spent a spectacularly successful spell on loan at the London Stadium in 2021. He returned to United hoping to revive his Old Trafford career, but after a disappointing season departed his hometown club for Nottingham Forest. After the expiry of his Forest contract, Lingard was released and will be hoping to dissuade doubts over his fitness after completing his programme with Al-Ettifaq.
IN THREE PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT FOR WEST HAM AND LINGARD? While he continues to work on his fitness in Saudi Arabia, his former West Ham colleagues continue their Europa League adventures when they travel to Freiburg on Thursday night.