Eyebrows have been raised in some quarters following reports that Tottenham are keen on signing Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard.
It is no secret that the 27-year-old has struggled for form at Old Trafford of late, managing just one Premier League goal last season, and he has allegedly been deemed surplus to requirements at the club by manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
With Dele Alli’s future at Spurs called into question after he was left out of the squad which beat Southampton 5-2, there has been some speculation that Lingard could be his replacement.
Spurs boss Jose Mourinho knows Lingard well after managing him for United, and it was under the Portuguese manager that Lingard enjoyed his best season, scoring 13 goals in the 2017-18 campaign.
But aside from his performances off the pitch, Mourinho has praised Lingard’s character in the dressing room in the past, and perhaps wants to bring in the player partly in a bid to boost morale.
Speaking to the Daily Mail in 2018, Mourinho said: “He is a naughty but funny guy. He is the funny one that doesn’t disturb the class. He is the funny one that the teacher isn’t upset with.
“He is the one that makes things work and in the right moment he is positive and he makes everyone in the class laugh and creates a good atmosphere and that is the atmosphere that we always want in our class, because I was also a school teacher and I know what it means.
“We like the funny person that doesn’t disturb and makes everyone happier. We don’t like the naughty ones who disturb everyone as they learn.”
Mourinho is known to be keen on having a variety of different types of characters in his dressing rooms, and perhaps sees Lingard as one who can have a positive effect.
Images Jesse Lingard is set to be reunited with Jose Mourinho at Tottenham
Despite his recent poor showings, he is also a man who knows how to win, boasting an FA Cup, Carabao Cup and Europa League winners’ medal.
It may not seem a logical move to some Spurs fans, but to Mourinho Lingard may just be another piece to the puzzle he is trying to form in north London.
The fact he could be available for as cheap as £20m will also appeal, while Lingard could also fancy the move and the chance of a fresh start away from Old Trafford.