Brighton & Hove Albion have beaten off competition from a host of rivals to secure the loan signature of Jesse Lingard for the rest of the season.
The 21-year-old is regarded as one of the best young talents at Manchester United and, during this transitional period at Old Trafford, many expect him to feature in their first team plans next season. For the current campaign, though, the forward is gaining experience elsewhere, notably from a loan spell at Birmingham City.
Lingard joined the 2011 League Cup winners earlier this season, and after scoring an incredible four times on his debut against Sheffield Wednesday, went on to appear another dozen times, adding a couple more goals to his tally. The Blues were naturally keen to extend his stay at St Andrews’, but they have missed out on a deal.
Indeed, Lee Clark’s side are just one of several from the Championship who were said to be interested in the Warrington-born ace, yet it is Brighton who have won the race for his services. Lingard will see the season out at the Amex Stadium, and head coach Oscar Garcia is delighted to welcome the England Under-21 international into the fold.
“We are delighted we have finally secured Jesse until the end of the season,” he said. “He is one of the most exciting young English strikers and has already created a lot of interest following his successful loan spell at Birmingham City earlier this season. We worked hard to secure a talent who has already shown he can play at Championship level, and I am very pleased to have added Jesse to our striking options for the rest of the season.
“He has an excellent pedigree, having come through the academy at Old Trafford, and there is no doubt that he has a lot of talent and ability; I am really looking forward to working with him. There were many clubs interested in signing him, so we are very grateful to David Moyes and all those at Manchester United for allowing him to come to us.”