Carlton Cole urges Jesse Lingard to ‘be the main man’ and leave Man United by completing West Ham transfer

Carlton Cole has urged Jesse Lingard to ‘be the main man’ at West Ham United and leave Manchester United to do so.

The England international spent the second half of last season on loan in east London and illuminated the London Stadium with his dazzling displays.

Jesse Lingard was adored by West Ham fans during his loan spell in east London

With nine goals and five assists from just 16 games, it is clear why Gareth Southgate recalled the 28-year-old to his Three Lions squad and why Lingard was unlucky to miss out on a place at Euro 2020.

Manager David Moyes remains keen on bringing the attacking midfielder back to Stratford on a permanent deal, yet Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists Lingard is part of his plans at Old Trafford before the new season.

Cole, who joined West Ham in 2006 after years on the sidelines himself at Chelsea, believes Lingard could have a team built around him at the Hammers and urged the loan star to consider a permanent move.

“Disappointment, really,” Cole said when asked about Solskjaer’s comments. “When I was younger, I wanted to stay at Chelsea for yonks and fight for my place.

The 28-year-old featured in United’s pre-season win against Derby

“But if they see him as a peripheral player, wouldn’t you want to go and be the main man somewhere else?

“That’s the way I look at it; he’s done brilliant last season and he has had some good seasons at Man United.

“I think he has outgrown that position, the way they look at him now, he is a bigger player than that. I think he can go somewhere and be the main man.

“But it’s up to him and what his ambitions in life are. Talking about another scenario like Declan Rice, what are his ambitions, does he want to go to a Man United?

Cole earned cult hero status at West Ham during two spells at Upton Park
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“But then you have the other way round as well, someone that has been a bit part player that wants to be the main man elsewhere. So it depends what perspective you look at football and what you want as a player.

“For me, I think he should just go and fill his boots at West Ham.”