Jesse Lingard’s Korean transfer hits new low as manager brutally scathes ex-Man Utd star | Football | Sport

FC Seoul manager Kim Gi-dong has blasted Jesse Lingard’s work rate for the second time in less than two months since the former Manchester United winger’s surprise transfer to South Korea. Ki-dong claims Lingard “doesn’t fight and doesn’t run” to pile on his difficult start to life in Asian football.

The 31-year-old signed a two-year deal with the option of a further 12 months at Seoul in February, ending a seven-month run as a free agent.

Lingard left United when his contract expired in the summer of 2022 and signed a one-year deal with then-Premier League newcomers Nottingham Forest.

However, he struggled to make an impact at the City Ground—registering just two goals and two assists—and Forest released the ex-England international last July.

Lingard cited his desire for “a different challenge and new memories” as his reason for completing an eye-catching switch to the K-League.

But he has had a tough time thus far, and Gi-dong singled him out for criticism again as he missed Seoul’s 1-1 draw against Gangwon on Sunday.

“I’ve been thinking a lot about removing Jesse Lingard. I don’t think a player who doesn’t run for a few minutes is a football player,” Gi-dong explained.

“If he doesn’t fight, and doesn’t run better than the player who runs for 90 minutes? If you’re going to play soccer in the name, shouldn’t you just take the retired players?”

Lingard has been building up his fitness since completing the move, playing for just 105 minutes across his first three appearances.

He was absent from the draw against Gangwon after suffering a minor knee injury during the international break, preventing him from making his first start in South Korea.

Gi-dong’s scathing criticism wasn’t the first time he has publically questioned Lingard’s effort. After Seoul’s 2-0 win against Jeju United before the break, he raised an issue with his cameo off the bench.

The Seoul boss said: “Even though he came on as a substitute, he didn’t work hard and avoided tussle. The name value has no meaning on the pitch. I will tell him this exactly.”

Seoul have started the K-League season with one win, one defeat and two draws. They are six-time champions but have been slumped in mid-table in the last four seasons.

The Reds will have hoped a player of Lingard’s pedigree would help end the club’s mediocrity and challenge near the top of the league again.

However, the former United No. 14 appears to have a lot of work to do if he wants to win over his new manager and enjoy success in South Korea.

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