Wednesday, January 27, 2021
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Dimitar Berbatov tells Jesse Lingard to leave Man Utd: ‘His time is up’

Dimitar Berbatov tells Jesse Lingard to leave Man Utd: 'His time is up'
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The former United striker feels his old teammate needs to move on (Picture: Stadium Astro)

Former Manchester United forwards Dimitar Berbatov and Michael Owen both believe Jesse Lingard needs to leave Old Trafford to save his career, even if it means taking a step down.

The 28-year-old made just his third appearance of the campaign in Saturday’s FA Cup third-round victory over Watford – with his other two outings coming in the Carabao Cup – and has not featured at all in either the Premier League or Champions League this season.

There has been speculation Lingard could leave the club this month, with Newcastle linked, and Berbatov says it would be in the midfielder’s best interests to move on.

The 28-year-old has not played a single minute in the Premier League (Picture: Getty)

With Lingard in the prime of his career but not even able to make the bench most weeks, Berbatov was asked by Stadium Astro what he should do and replied: ‘Honestly, his time is up.

‘He’s not playing. He had his chances to shine, to prove how good he is, how good he can be. It shows that, for the moment, Ole does not trust him enough to play him.

‘And honestly he doesn’t have anywhere to play in the team right now.

‘So when you’ve been so long in one team and, coming to 28 [years old], you have to look back and say, “Did I achieve enough? Am I happy with what I’ve done here? Is my time up?”

‘So I think he need to move, he needs to go somewhere else to play.

‘It’s going to be a lesser team than United, but as long as he gets more playing time to get back to doing what he can do, because I remember him starting for England and scoring goals for England.

‘But now that is all gone in my opinion and he needs to rediscover some of the form that he used to have before.’

Fellow pundit Owen, who – like Berbatov – saw Lingard break through when he was still playing at United, agreed with his old teammate and also feels the midfielder needs to leave Old Trafford.

Lingard has been heavily linked with a January switch to Newcastle (Picture: Getty)

‘He came through the ranks when me and Berba were in the team, we saw his development, and he’s got to a stage now where he’s a bit older and should be playing regularly in a team now at his age,’ explained Owen.

‘And he’s been at Manchester United that whole time so he knows what it feels like to be a Manchester United player, now it’s his life decision, his professional career decision: “Do I want to stay as a bit-part player at one of the biggest teams in the world, or do I want to drop down, play regularly but not have as much chance of winning anything?” And that’s the balancing act.

‘If it was me, and I’d had all that time at Manchester United, I’d probably go and try to play a bit more regularly.’


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