Brighton & Hove Albion F.C. have completed the loan signing of Manchester United winger Jesse Lingard for the rest of the season.
Lingard, an England Under-21 international, impressed many during United’s pre-season tour of Australia and the Far East.
However, the 21-year-old was unable to secure a place in the Reds’ first team due to a number of standout performances from Adnan Januzaj and Wilfried Zaha, and with Antonio Valencia, Ashley Young and Nani also in the team, there were simply no wide positions available.
Lingard has previously spent time on loan at Leicester City (2012-13) and Birmingham City (2013-14), having just returned from a successful loan spell at St Andrew’s last month.
While on loan at Birmingham earlier this season, Lingard bagged six goals, including four on his club debut against Sheffield Wednesday, in 13 league appearances.
Birmingham boss Lee Clark was believed to be keen on extending Lingard’s stay at St Andrew’s but, much to the delight of the Brighton manager Oscar Garcia, the Seagulls have beaten their Championship rivals to the signing of the highly-rated winger.
“We are delighted we have finally secured Jesse until the end of the season,” said Garcia. “He is one of the most exciting young English strikers and has already created a lot of interest following his successful loan spell at Birmingham City earlier this season.
“We worked hard to secure a talent who has already shown he can play at Championship level, and I am very pleased to have added Jesse to our striking options for the rest of the season.
“He has an excellent pedigree, having come through the academy at Old Trafford, and there is no doubt that he has a lot of talent and ability; I am really looking forward to working with him.
“There were many clubs interested in signing him, so we are very grateful to David Moyes and all those at Manchester United for allowing him to come to us here at Brighton & Hove Albion.”
Should Brighton (12-10-9) — currently four points behind Reading, with a game in hand, for the final place in the promotion play-offs — qualify for the Championship play-offs, Lingard would be available for selection.
The Seagulls’ will look to put their recent 2-1 home defeat to Wigan Athletic behind them when they travel to The Den to face relegation-threatened Millwall on 1 March.
In other news, Leeds United have confirmed the capture of Sunderland striker Connor Wickham on loan until the end of the season.