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Jesse Lingard leaves Manchester United for Nottingham Forest

Newly promoted side Nottingham Forest have made their first splash signing since re-joining the Premier League and it will be bringing in Jesse Lingard on a free transfer. He was let go by Manchester United after his contract expired on June 1. Lingard was a stalwart at United and played there for 11 years after coming up through their youth academy. He may have never reached the heights many thought he was capable of, but it’s expected Lingard will be a starter for Forest.

Lingard broke into the Manchester United starting 11 seven years ago when he was 22 and had a couple of good seasons where he was a key starter for the Reds. However, his star began to dimmer a couple of seasons ago and his playing time was drastically cut. Last year, he scored two goals across 22 games for United and ultimately, that was the end of his road in Manchester.

Still though, Lingard has shown flashes in recent years and Premier League fans will remember his loan stint at West Ham two years ago. In 16 appearances for the Hammers, Lingard scored nine goals and assisted on five more. He was a key player for West Ham and finally had delivered on the potential he showed years before at United. However, when he returned from loan for the most recent season, he struggled for consistent playing time.

Regardless, this signing is a good low risk, high reward move for Nottingham Forest. Lingard will eat up a lot of their wage budget, but the fact they got him for no transfer fee makes it a smart piece of business. Lingard will immediately become a leader for them and he could still have some magic left in him, as he showed for West Ham two years ago. Forest are gearing up for their first Premier League stint in over 20 years after earning promotion in the EFL Championship last year.

That being said, Forest are up against it. They will have one of the lowest budgets amongst all the Premier League teams and they are a favorite to get relegated at -120 with the top betting sites. That’s a pretty good value bet as Forest simply do not have the resources to compete with the big guns of the Premier League. However, it’s still early for a relegation bet and a bunch of Premier League mainstays appear to be out of sorts. Everton, Southampton and Wolves have all had treacherous summers and them, combined with the three newly promoted sides, are projected to be in a relegation battle all year.

Nottingham Forest to finish in last at +300 is a better value bet and we recommend wagering on that rather than a relegation bet. The price on finishing in last is simply way longer and makes more sense when considering the odds. Even with Lingard, Forest’s roster doesn’t match up with the Premier League average and while signing Lingard was smart, Forest will need to do a lot more to match the status quo of the Premier League.

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