Ex-Manchester United Lingard joins FC Seoulon Thursday, Feb. 8. Lingard, who has been clubless since parting ways with Nottingham Forest last summer, is embarking on a new chapter with Seoul. Having spent an impressive 22 years at Manchester United before departing Old Trafford in 2022, the 31-year-old midfielder sees joining FC Seoul as a fresh challenge and declares he is "ready to accept it."
Jesse Lingard wearing a blue jacket
In a surprising twist that has sent shockwaves through the football community, former Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard has found a new home in South Korea, signing with FC Seoul. The announcement, made by FC Seoul on Thursday, labeled the 31-year-old English international as "the biggest name in K League history."
Lingard, a World Cup semifinalist with England and a decorated player with triumphs in the Europa League, League Cup, and FA Cup during his tenure with Manchester United, had been on a quest for a new club since departing Nottingham Forest after the previous season.
In a video released by FC Seoul, Lingard expressed his eagerness for a fresh challenge, stating:
I've always wanted different challenges and to create new memories in my career, and I believe being in South Korea is the perfect place for that.- Jesse Lingard
FC Seoul, competing at the Seoul World Cup Stadium, boasts a substantial fanbase and six K League titles, the most recent one secured in 2016.
Upon landing at Incheon Airport, Lingard was warmly welcomed by over 200 fans as he underwent medical examinations and other formalities earlier in the week. Lingard shared his decision-making process, saying:
I have received several offers since last summer. Other clubs only made verbal offers. FC Seoul sent a written offer. Club officials showed their sincerity by coming to Manchester to check on my physical condition. At that time, I decided to sign with FC Seoul.- Jesse Lingard
The upcoming K League season kicks off on March 2, with FC Seoul facing Gwangju FC. Lingard, who had been training without a team since parting ways with Nottingham Forest, expressed his excitement for the new journey on social media. He wrote on Instagram on Thursday:
New beginnings. So excited to finally get back on the pitch and do what I love the most. (I’m) so grateful for the love and support in Korea.- Jesse Lingard
A product of Manchester United's youth system, Lingard played a pivotal role in the club's successes, including the EFL Cup and UEFA Europa League triumphs. Despite his contributions, Lingard fell out of favor at Old Trafford, leading to a successful loan spell with West Ham in 2021 and a subsequent permanent transfer to Nottingham Forest.
FC Seoul, South Korea's oldest professional club, finished seventh in the top division last year. As the anticipation builds for the new K League season, Lingard's potential debut against Gwangju FC on March 2 promises to be a highlight, marking the beginning of a new chapter in the midfielder's illustrious career.
In a swift conclusion to the transfer saga, FC Seoul officially announced the signing of former Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard on Thursday. The K League 1 club swiftly finalized the contract with the 31-year-old English international just three days after he arrived in South Korea for medical examinations.
While the financial details of the deal remain undisclosed, Lingard is set to have his introductory press conference at the Seoul World Cup Stadium later on Thursday, before seamlessly transitioning to join his new teammates at their training camp in Japan.