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Jesse Lingard speaks out after making much-anticipated debut for FC Seoul

Jesse Lingard speaks out after making much-anticipated debut for FC Seoul

Lingard played his first competitive match in over 10 months for K League 1 side FC Seoul.

Jesse Lingard says he was "blessed" and "grateful" to be back on the pitch after making his debut for K League 1 side FC Seoul.

The 31-year-old midfielder, who was released by Nottingham Forest at the end of last season, penned a two-year deal with the South Korean side last month.

He is said to have received offers from 26 clubs but decided to join Seoul after being impressed by their eagerness and sincerity.

"I just want to enjoy playing football again, putting a smile on people’s faces and showing Korean fans what I can do," he said after signing for the club.

"When FC Seoul came into the equation, the commitment that they showed, they came to Manchester to watch me train."

Lingard added: "They came with the contract on paper so I think the commitment shown by the club really in my mind, I had already made up where I wanted to go because, as I say, there was multiple offers, they was all verbal offers.

"But the commitment shown by FC Seoul showed how much interest and how much they wanted me at the club so it was only right for me to repay that and come to the club."

Almost a month after penning a deal with Kim Gidong's side and the former England international made his K League 1 debut in a 2-0 defeat to Gwangju on Saturday.

Wearing the No.10 shirt, Lingard entered the fray with 77 minutes on the clock. He played 13 minutes and was shown a yellow card for a mistimed challenge near the touchline.

Taking to Instagram after the final whistle, he wrote: "Blessed and grateful to be back on the pitch doing what I love best."

According to a report by Korea JoongAng Daily, Lingard has become the K League’s highest-paid player following his move.

It is believed that the midfielder will earn around 1.55 billion won per year, which equates to around $1.15 million.

Lingard is the seventh Englishman to play in the K League, following Jordan Mutch, Richard Offiong, Chris Marsden, Andy Cooke, Jamie Cureton and Dalian Atkinson in South Korea's top flight.

Featured Image Credit: X/@thfc_cho

Topics: Jesse Lingard, South Korea, England