Jesse Lingard surprised many in the football world when he chose to sign for Nottingham Forest after leaving Manchester United this summer - including West Ham manager David Moyes.
Most expected that Lingard would sign for the Hammers, after he enjoyed a hugely successful spell with them on loan during the 2020-21 season. After his time at Manchester United came to an end, it seemed a natural fit for the 29-year-old to return to East London.
Moyes revealed on Friday that West Ham made a "really good" contract offer available to Lingard, and that he was ultimately surprised by the Englishman's choice to move to newly promoted Nottingham Forest.
West Ham failed to lure Jesse Lingard to East London with mega offer
David Moyes spoke to the media ahead of West Ham's first game of the season against Manchester City. He was asked about former Hammer Jesse Lingard.
Lingard left Manchester United as a free agent this summer after 22 years at the club. His departure was somewhat acrimonious, with rumours of dressing room leaks plaguing Lingard in his last few months at the club.
Moyes was eager to take Lingard back to the London Stadium, but was left surprised by his decision to instead sign for newcomers Forest. Speaking on Friday, Moyes said:
I was surprised, yeah. I thought Jesse in the end would come here - and I've got to say that the club made him a really good offer.
You couldn't turn around and say David Sullivan and the owners didn't do everything they could to get him. They certainly did.
I've got to say the club have tried to get lots of players but for different reasons we've not been able to get them.
Lingard signed for West Ham on a six-month loan during the 2020-21 season, and made a huge impact. He scored nine goals in 16 league appearances, and took a Premier League goal of the month and player of the month double in April 2021.
Lingard's career never kicked on in the manner that was expected after his spell with West Ham. He returned to Old Trafford last summer in an attempt to fight his way back in to the Manchester United team, but could only manage two league goals all season (one a last minute winner against the Hammers).
Despite showing some early promise in his United career when he broke onto the scene under Louis van Gaal in 2014-15, Lingard never really hit the heights expected of him at Manchester United, falling out of favour under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Though some Manchester United fans will be disappointed with the unfulfilled potential from Jesse Lingard, it can't be denied that he has underwhelmed in recent seasons. Nonetheless, David Moyes has been left feeling betrayed by the English attacker.