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07th Apr 2017

Gary Neville hits out at Manchester United “fans” who have been moaning about Jesse Lingard’s new contract

"They aren't United fans really"

Darragh Murphy

Prospects are handed lucrative contracts every week in football.

More often than not, the deal is signed without a peep from supporters, which is what makes the outrage over Jesse Lingard’s new contract all the more bizarre.

The 24-year-old signed a four-year deal with Manchester United on Thursday, which saw his wages treble to £100,000 a week.

“Jesse has been with the club since the age of seven,” manager Jose Mourinho told the club’s website.

“He has good intelligence which, when combined with his energy and ability, makes for a player with a great future ahead of him.

“Jesse is a popular member of the squad and I am delighted he has signed a new contract.”

But the significant raise left many United supporters questioning what the winger had done to warrant such a boost to his bank account.

ESPN’s Mark Ogden made the split among supporters roughly 70/30, with the majority of fans unhappy about the deal for Lingard.

And when Ogden pointed out that the player, who has made 70 appearances for the Red Devils, divided opinion, United legend Gary Neville felt it necessary to back the youngster.

Neville came up through United’s famous Class of ’92 so he would be expected to defend homegrown Manchester United players but his argument does make sense that nobody should be criticising Lingard for simply accepting more money.

Anyone would.

It was the manager’s decision and if he felt it appropriate to increase Lingard’s wages, then surely Mourinho should be the target for any ridicule rather than the player himself.