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Lingard was a free agent at the end of last season after his Manchester United contract came to an end. An offer to return to the London Stadium was on the table for the midfielder after he had a successful loan spell during the 20/21 season.
However, he decided the best move for himself was a move to newly promoted side Nottingham Forest, sparking anger within the West Ham fan base.
The Hammers faithful branded Lingard’s move to Forest as money motivated.
During the match between the two sides, West Ham fans threw fake money from the crowd onto the pitch when Lingard walked over to take a corner as they showed their discontent towards the player.
Notes thrown at Lingard .. pic.twitter.com/gFjEWBnwrl— Mr Paul Turner 🎧🎼⚒ (@paulturner67) August 14, 2022
Lingard spoke about the accusations, stating he could have had more money by moving to a team abroad.
He told SoccerAM: “I could have gone abroad for a lot, lot, lot more money, life changing money, so for me it’s just nonsense really.
“I don’t really like to read too much into that, it was my decision, the owners were very strong in their approach to bring me here, they flew me to London, they went overboard to do what they could to get me here. When I see that appreciation it’s hard to say no really.”
The West Ham fans threw fake bank notes at Jesse Lingard. pic.twitter.com/F9aQnQuQq6— SPORTbible (@sportbible) August 14, 2022
Sky Sports pundit and former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher thinks Lingard went to Forest for the money.
He said on The Overlap: “He went there for the money. I love Nottingham Forest, that they are back [in the Premier League], but 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.”
Whilst fellow pundit Gary Neville added: “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.”
West Ham manager David Moyes also spoke about Lingard ahead of the match.
He said: “He has moved on. Jesse was brilliant for us. Jesse got us into Europe with his goals, he gave us a huge lift when he joined the club and played a huge part of getting us into Europe.
“We acknowledge that and thank him greatly for that, the club made him a really good offer to come and we just couldn’t quite get him.
“He’s someone we could have liked, but obviously he chose Nottingham Forest.”