Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has expressed his surprise over Jesse Lingard’s decision to snub West Ham United in favour of a move to Premier League newcomers Nottingham Forest.
The former Manchester United forward enjoyed a successful loan spell at the London Stadium during the second half of the 2020/21 season as he scored nine goals and provided five assists for David Moyes’ side.
Lingard was linked with a permanent move to West Ham during the following summer but remained at Old Trafford and endured a frustrating campaign with his boyhood club.
After making just two starts in all competitions during the first half of the season, the Hammers were once again linked with a move for their former loan star during the January transfer window.
But once again, despite confirmed interest from both West Ham and Newcastle United, Lingard completed the season with the 13-time Premier League champions.
That enabled him to run down his existing contract with the Red Devils and spark a race to secure his services on a free transfer this summer.
That race was surprisingly won by newly-promoted Nottingham Forest after Lingard put pen-to-paper on a lucrative one-year deal at the City Ground late last month.
Assessing the decision, Carragher, speaking on the Overlap Live Fan Debate, in partnership with SkyBet, said: “He 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.”
Lingard is in line to make his Forest debut when they visit Newcastle on Saturday afternoon.