Paul Scholes regrets making a private conversation with Jesse Lingard public and says the midfielder has been “treated pretty poorly” by Manchester United.
Speaking on the back of United’s 3-1 loss to Arsenal on Saturday, Scholes revealed Lingard had told him the Red Devils’ dressing room “is a disaster” and an “absolute mess”.
That was United’s fourth successive away league defeat, making this their worst such run since losing six on the spin between December 1980 and 1981.
Reflecting on his comments in the heat of the moment, Scholes admits he should not have disclosed what Lingard had told him.
“I’ve had a little bit of stick for that. I don’t know why I did it. Honestly, sometimes words just come out your mouth,” he told talkSPORT. “I have spoken to him since and probably best I don’t tell you what he said.”
Lingard played the final 13 minutes at Emirates Stadium in what was his 16th Premier League appearance of the season, although just two of those have been starts.
The 29-year-old has been used 22 times in all competitions, totalling 548 minutes on the pitch – with 19 players having featured more than him.
With two goals and an assist, Lingard’s goal involvement average of 0.49 per 90 minutes is bettered only by Paul Pogba (0.5), Bruno Fernandes (0.56) and Cristiano Ronaldo (0.77).
United reportedly prevented Lingard from joining either Newcastle United or West Ham, where he thrived on loan last season, in January and Scholes has criticised his former club’s treatment of the academy product.
“I think Jesse has been treated pretty poorly by the club, to be honest,” Scholes said. “He was ready to sign for Newcastle at one point and West Ham, right at the end of deadline day and he was told he was going to get more minutes.
“That clearly hasn’t happened. He’s deserved a chance. We all saw what he did at West Ham. He’s a really good footballer and can bring goals to a team and with this team playing so poorly as well, for him not to get a chance… I think he’s unfairly treated.”
Lingard has regularly been overlooked by both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and successor Ralf Rangnick, but Scholes is hopeful that will change under incoming boss Erik ten Hag should the midfielder be persuaded to sign a new deal.
“I think he might suit [Ten Hag] and he might want to keep him,” Scholes said. “We will see what happens. It’s obvious he never wants to leave Manchester United, and if this manager wants him then why wouldn’t he stay?”