Ralf Rangnick, Manchester United’s interim manager, has justified his decision to refuse Jesse Lingard an Old Trafford farewell.
Lingard’s brother chastised Rangnick for not bringing on the midfielder during United’s final home game of the season, a 3-0 win over Brentford on Monday.
The 29-year-old, who has been with United since he was seven years old, is likely to leave when his contract expires this summer. “He has played significantly more games than he used to in the previous couple of weeks during my term,” Rangnick remarked.
“Secondly, on the day of the game against Chelsea [on April 28], he requested that I release him from the game and training the next day due to personal family obligations.
“And it was the cause.” I had to choose between Edinson Cavani and Jesse Lingard, or the young [Alejandro Garnacho], who I would have wanted to have brought in and given an opportunity to play, with just three replacements.”
Lingard has appeared in 22 games for United this season, although just four have been starts. During the 3-0 win over Brentford, Rangnick elected to replace him with midfielder Fred, defender Phil Jones, and striker Cavani.
Lingard’s brother reacted angrily on social media, claiming that the England midfielder had received “not even a farewell” after “20 years of blood, sweat, and tears, four domestic trophies, and three cup final goals.”
Lingard himself was said to be distressed about the situation.
“I made the choice to call Edinson in. Someone else may have wondered whether it’s classless not to bring on Cavani or Garnacho if I hadn’t brought on Edinson “Rangnick added.
“You must make a decision, and this will not be to everyone’s favor, but that is part of the game.” United’s last two games of the season are on the road, against Brighton and Crystal Palace.
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