Jesse Lingard, the former Manchester United striker, has embarked on a new chapter in his football career by joining Al-Ettifaq for a one-month training stint in Saudi Arabia.
The club officially announced this move on Friday, marking an intriguing development for the English player’s future.
Lingard’s journey to Al-Ettifaq comes after his contract with Nottingham Forest concluded in June of this year. Despite training with West Ham United, where he previously enjoyed success with nine goals in 16 appearances, Lingard did not receive a formal offer from the club, leaving his status as a free agent unresolved.
During his training period with Al-Ettifaq, Lingard will have the opportunity to work with former Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard, who is currently associated with the club. If Gerrard is impressed with Lingard’s performance during the training sessions, it is reported that a formal contract offer could be extended, potentially reigniting Lingard’s professional career [Fabrizio Romano]. If this materializes, Lingard would join the ranks of other former Premier League players who have found a new home at Al-Ettifaq, including Jordan Henderson, Gini Wijnaldum, Demarai Gray, and Moussa Dembele.
This move to Saudi Arabia signifies a pivotal moment for Lingard, who is seeking to rejuvenate his footballing journey. After an unsuccessful trial with West Ham, the English forward’s future was uncertain. However, the opportunity with Al-Ettifaq under the guidance of Steven Gerrard presents a fresh chance for Lingard to showcase his talents and potentially secure a place in the Saudi Pro League.
As Lingard embarks on this new chapter and this will give him the opportunity to prove whether he can convince Gerrard to offer him a formal contract, which can mark a significant turning point in his career. Only time will tell if Lingard can make the most of this training opportunity and reignite his once-promising career in professional football.