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Jesse Lingard hits back at critics after divisive Forest move

Jesse Lingard
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Many observers have accused Lingard of joining the newly-promoted side only for financial reasons.

Jesse Lingard has insisted he rejected ‘life changing money’ from abroad to play for Nottingham Forest.

Following his free departure from Manchester United, Lingard joined Forest on a season-long contract earlier this summer. 

The 29-year-old’s reported salary of £80,000 a week has convinced many that his decision had no sporting basis.

Speaking about Lingard’s transfer on Sky Bet’s ‘The Overlap Live Fan Debate’, Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher said: “He [Jesse Lingard] 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.

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“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.”

‘It’s like a family’

Lingard has reacted to recent comments on his transfer, insisting he feels at home in his new club.

“I could’ve gone abroad for a lot more money, life changing money,” he said. “For me it’s nonsense, I don’t like to read into a lot of stuff too much, it was my decision.

“The owners were very strong in their approach and went overboard and when I saw that kind of appreciation it’s hard to say no. I WhatsApp them and it’s like a family.

“They’ve showed me so much love getting here in the first place and that was one of the most importance factors.”