Coach Park Hang Seo meets Jesse Lingard

ormer Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard’s transition to Seoul FC in South Korea has not been without its challenges. On April 15th, during a visit to his homeland, renowned coach Park Hang Seo, alongside coach Kim Gi Dong, was photographed sharing a coffee with Lingard, signaling a moment of camaraderie amid ongoing struggles on the pitch.

Since his departure from Nottingham Forest and the English Premier League, Lingard had aimed for a career boost in Saudi Arabia, but his move was thwarted by a lack of interest due to his perceived decline in form. Instead, he landed at Seoul FC in the K.League, where his struggles have continued. Of the seven matches this season, Lingard has only played in three, spending the last four games on the bench. His limited playtime is attributed to an unresolved injury and a perceived lack of enthusiasm on the field, drawing criticism from fans and pundits alike.

Coach Kim Gi Dong has maintained a tough stance on Lingard, despite the player’s high-profile status. He criticized Lingard for not making the most of his time on the field, stating, “He doesn’t fight for the ball and runs less than players who play the full 90 minutes. A big name means nothing on the field; I have a famous player who seems retired. However, I acknowledge his potential for brilliance, and I am committed to helping him improve.”

Despite the tough love, Lingard remains a significant draw for Seoul FC fans, with thousands filling the stadium hoping to see him play. A special section at the stadium is even dedicated to Lingard-themed merchandise.

Lingard, on his part, has stayed positive and grateful towards the fans on his social media, indicating a successful surgery and promising a strong comeback: “Thank you to the fans, I will come back stronger. I am feeling more positive, and my surgery was successful.”

This blend of support and critique encapsulates Lingard’s current chapter in the K.League, underlining the challenges and pressures faced by international players adapting to new leagues around the globe.

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