- by Staff Writer
- Saturday, 23rd September 2023
Jesse Lingard's planned return to West Ham collapsed in dramatic fashion late on Friday night after he was convicted of a drink driving offence.The 29-year-old midfielder had been training with West Ham since July in an attempt to win a permament contract.
However on Friday he was convicted of driving whilst over the legal limit for alcohol consumption where he was fined £57,000 and banned for 18 months as a result.
Just a matter of hours later, it was announced that Lingard was on his way to Saudi Arabia for a month-long trial with Steven Gerrard's Al-Ettifaq.
Frank Rogers, representing Lingard in court stated that his client would pay "a heavy price" for his conviction, having claimed that West Ham had been considering offering the player a contract.
The judge, in response to Lingard's lawyer added: "One wonders who would have cared for your entire family had you killed yourself or someone else".
Although the former Manchester United and England star had been open to a move to the Middle East all summer, he harboured hopes that West Ham would offer him a short-term contract.
And while David Moyes was open to that possibility - as confirmed by the club leaving a vacant space in their 25-man Premier League squad - once Lingard was convicted, that particular door closed.
During his time on trial with West Ham, Lingard saw his accomodation and general living fees paid by the club.
* Something to say about this story? Please visit the KUMB Forum to leave a comment.