Jesse Lingard’s move to Nottingham Forest has been confirmed, and bet365 have priced the former Manchester United man at 12/1 to score 20 or more goals.
It was slow going for Steve Cooper in the transfer window, with the only headline moves being the departures of Djed Spence and Brice Samba.
But things have picked up rapidly in recent weeks, with Lingard joining the likes of Taiwo Awoniyi, Dean Henderson, Neco Williams, Harry Toffolo and Lewis O’Brien.
Forest’s squad is now looking much better prepared for a survival bid, priced at 4/6 to stay up.
While Lingard’s struggles to break into the United first team in recent years have been well-documented, his work-rate has never been found wanting, which should be invaluable as Forest adopt to life in the top flight.
He also come up big in big games for United, scoring the winning goal in the 2016 FA Cup semi-final and the second in the 2017 EFL Cup final.
His time at West Ham showed there is certainly a player still in there, just in need of a chance of a regular run of games,
Though his reported wages will have raised some eyebrows, his 12-month deal almost serves as a loan, with Lingard keen to impress at the City Ground in the hopes of earning a contract extension there or somewhere else, and with a few months until the World Cup, he’ll want to hit the ground running in order to catch Gareth Southgate’s eye.
His sparkling performances in London with West Ham, where he scored nine goals and made four assists in 16 games, will give Forest fans plenty of optimism if he can recapture that form.
While some may scoff at the idea of Lingard getting 20 goals, his run of seven goals in as many games helped fire the Hammers to European football, and while Forest’s aims may be a little lower, the former – and potentially future – England man should be a big step towards Premier League safety.
Those looking for a more conservative haul can back 15 or more goals at 9/4, and 10 or more at 4/9.