David Moyes could play a “massive” role in luring Jesse Lingard back to West Ham from Manchester United this summer, according to Noel Whelan.
The former Premier League striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested the 28-year-old would appreciate the “freedom” given to him by the Scottish boss.
As quoted by talkSPORT, Moyes confessed he hoped Lingard would return to the London Stadium after his “exceptional” loan spell.
As revealed by Football Insider in April, Aston Villa have joined the race to sign the attacking midfielder.
Lingard still has another year on his contract at Old Trafford.
Whelan suggested the faith shown by Moyes could swing things West Ham’s way if there is a fight for his capture.
Whelan told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “One thing that David Moyes has allowed him to do is have that freedom out there on the field. To go and showcase his skills and let him enjoy football again which is what he wasn’t getting at Manchester United.
“So massive part of that goes down to David Moyes, the coaching staff and the players around him. They allowed him to go and be that free spirit, let loose his skills and showcase himself completely rather than holding him back.
“I’m sure when it comes to a decision of where he wants to be that will be very strong on his list. To play for a manager that allows you to go and have that freedom and be as forward-thinking as a player is, that’s a massive benefit.
“You also know what you’re getting with him. He will do the horrible side as well and that is massively important.”
Lingard scored nine goals and contributed five assists in 16 games on loan with the Hammers.
His temporary switch came after he managed to make just three appearances for Manchester United during the first half of the campaign.
In other news, West Ham have told senior star to find a new club this summer.