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Jesse Lingard hits back at people who criticised his move to Nottingham Forest, says it's 'nonsense'

Jack Kenmare

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Jesse Lingard hits back at people who criticised his move to Nottingham Forest, says it's 'nonsense'

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/jesselingard

Jesse Lingard has hit back at critics of his summer move to Nottingham Forest, saying he turned down "life changing money" abroad to join the newly promoted club.

The 29-year-old midfielder, who was a free agent after leaving Manchester United, penned a one-year deal with Steve Cooper's side last month.

He will earn £80,000-a-week with bonuses that take his salary to around £120,000-a-week. according to The Telegraph.

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Before signing on the dotted line, it was widely reported that Lingard would earn around £200,000-a-week – a sum that brought plenty of debate amongst fans and pundits.

Jamie Carragher, for example, accused Lingard of joining Forest for the pay cheque.

In the latest episode of Sky Bet's 'The Overlap Live Fan Debate', former Liverpool defender Carragher said: "He [Jesse Lingard] went there for the money. I love Nottingham Forest, that they are back [in the Premier League].

"If any footballer is picking Nottingham Forest right now, before West Ham and what they've done in the last two or three years, they've obviously gone there for a few quid.

"And, the fact that he's only signed for a year means that next year on a free or Bosman [ruling]. 

"There's a good chance Forest could go down, but it puts Jesse Lingard in a good position if he gets eight to ten goals for them. But, if West Ham want you right now, I can't believe he never went to West Ham. It's brilliant for Nottingham Forest."

Since those comments were made, Lingard has hit back at the overall criticsm of his move in an interview with Soccer AM.

The midfielder says Nottingham Forest's owners played a massive role in the transfer.

"I could've gone abroad for a lot more money, life changing money," he said. "For me it's nonsense, I don't like to read into a lot of stuff too much, it was my decision.

"The owners were very strong in their approach and went overboard and when I saw that kind of appreciation it's hard to say no. I WhatsApp them and it's like a family.

"They've showed me so much love getting here in the first place and that was one of the most importance factors."

Gary Neville was another critic of Lingard's move to Forest, labelling his decision to sign a one-year deal as "transactional".

He told 'The Overlap': "It just felt really transactional [Lingard signing for Nottingham Forest].

"Football fans, when it comes down to it, later in the year, if Jesse started to be linked four or five months in with where he's going to go next year – it won't end well.

"Fans don't like transactional stuff like that. They are happy to play the game. They [Nottingham Forest] could have shaped it a different way. Two years [on a contract] and if we go down, a little clause in the contract that says you can leave on a free.'

"Jesse could have been clever. Reputationally, he's taken a hit. He could have signed a two-year deal where he leaves at the end of the season – if they go down – for free."

Topics: Jesse Lingard, Manchester United, Nottingham Forest, Premier League

Jack Kenmare
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