Nottingham Forest

Nottingham Forest

Premier League • England

Jesse Lingard: Forest skipper Joe Worrall lauds new team-mate; makes big Stuart Pearce comparison

Jesse Lingard of Nottingham Forest

Nottingham Forest captain Joe Worrall has welcomed Jesse Lingard to the City Ground with open arms, labelling him ‘very highly talented’.

West Ham had been hoping to capture Lingard on a free transfer following the expiry of his Manchester United contract. After months of talks with the Hammers, Lingard instead went on to sign for Nottingham Forest.

According to reports, the attacking midfielder will take home nearly £200,000 a week in the East Midlands. His contract lasts for one year and makes him the highest paid player at Nottingham Forest.

It is an ambitious move from the Reds ahead of their return to the Premier League. Club chiefs believe players with top-flight experience, such as Lingard, will help them avoid relegation back to the Championship.

The player, meanwhile, has the big incentive of getting into Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the World Cup. Performing well on a weekly basis at Forest is the only way he will manage this.

Forest are a big club with huge history, having won two European cups and one First Division title. Big names such as Stuart Pearce, Des Walker and Peter Shilton have all represented them in the past, and Worrall has now put Lingard up there with the trio.

The centre-back said (via the Daily Express): “Everybody knows how good a footballer Jesse Lingard is. We are absolutely buzzing to have him at the club.

“To have somebody of his calibre, it should be the norm for a club like Nottingham Forest. We have had many England international players through the years such as Stuart Pearce, Des Walker and Peter Shilton.

Joe Worrall hails Jesse Lingard

“These are players who are in the archives of football, never mind Forest. That is the level we are aspiring to.

“Back in the day Forest were used to having international players playing for them.

“Jesse is one of those players who is very highly talented. He is somebody who comes with a lot of experience and has proven at international and Premier League level that he can score goals.

“He spent a season out of the picture at United but went to West Ham on loan and showed his quality straight away.”

Worrall also gave an insight into how Forest will play on their Prem return. “We need to go for the jugular, because teams that sit back and opt for damage limitation normally get punished in the Premier League,” he said.

Lingard is a player who will help Steve Cooper’s side play on the front foot. During a successful loan spell at West Ham, he transformed their attack and went on to score nine goals in 16 outings.

Lingard is some way off the likes of Pearce and Shilton when it comes to being revered among fans. However, he can revive his career at Forest and potentially become loved there by helping them stay up.

Meanwhile, Forest are among three teams aiming to sign an impressive Manchester City youngster on loan, as per a report.