It’s not that long ago that Rangers were tentatively linked with Jesse Lingard, with the (former) England international freed by Nottingham Forest amid Ross Wilson’s new side surviving the drop back to the Championship.
Lingard is a sad, sad tale of a player with an absolute boatload of talent and who chucked it away with bad attitude.
Not that long ago either Lingard was the toast of the London Stadium as the West Ham man, on loan from Manchester United, stormed it up and started making former Old Trafford boss Ole Gunnar look very silly indeed.
But off-field tales of rotten professionalism and a viral video or two demonstrating a questionable lifestyle have led Lingard to the point where his days of being a star footballer are done.
Is he one Rangers would ever consider moving for? No, he’s too old for a start, at 30-years-old he doesn’t fit the target age Michael Beale seeks now for new signings.
He’s also in a position that Rangers are absolutely stocked to the gills so it’s a non-question.
But it does show why Rangers absolutely steered clear of him – for all the talent he clearly has, his attitude has stopped him reaching the top of the game. Indeed, some have suggested he needs psychological help, and that may be true. Counselling, in the right direction.
But for all the brilliance a player may have on the pitch, there needs to be the personality to back it up, to push one’s self. Ronaldo may be a smug self-satisfied eedjit, but his off-field professionalism is second to none and the guy just keeps pushing himself. It’s why he’s one of the greatest players to ever live. And why he’s still keeping it going approaching his 40s.
Lingard is the polar opposite – once he got to England, to Man Utd, he thought he’d made it – he turned off and got complacent. And instead of driving himself to succeed at a mammoth club like Utd, he just assumed his ability would do the job. Sadly not.
Rangers need players driven to succeed and who want to keep fighting and pushing for themselves and for their club.
Jesse Lingard is the opposite of that.