Prince Abdullah reveals change of heart that prevented Sheffield United signing West Ham's Jesse Lingard
Prince Abdullah, the Sheffield United owner, has confirmed that the Blades were planning to sign Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard in the January transfer window, before the England international ultimately signed for West Ham United.
Lingard has been a revelation for the Hammers, scoring nine times in just 10 appearances to keep David Moyes’ side in contention for a Champions League place.
Lingard was identified as a target by former Blades boss Chris Wilder, and was presented with a detailed proposal setting out the role he had been earmarked for on and off the pitch at Bramall Lane.
Sheffield United fan shares hilarious picture recreating pain of relegation, 14 years on
But January came and went without United making any additions in a bid to stave off relegation, and Lingard instead linked up with his former Old Trafford boss Moyes at the London Stadium. United were subsequently condemned to the Championship last weekend when they lost at Wolves.
Prince Abdullah has managed to secure Lingard’s services since, though; buying him for his Fantasy Premier League team, the game being one of his life’s passions.
“I gave up this week and brought [Lingard] in,” the Saudi royal told The Athletic’s FPL expert Mark McGettigan.
“Two nice things could happen now, he will score and I will be happy because I own him, or he will stop scoring and it’s OK.
“Now, I can stop suffering during West Ham games every week, biting my nails.
“I had more reason than others to suffer when I didn’t own Lingard because we were planning to get him on loan for Sheffield United and then Sander Berge got injured and the club changed the target to another player and then we didn’t go with it.
“So Lingard could have been scoring these goals for Sheffield United, that’s another reason I have brought him in.”
The Prince, who had John Lundstram, Dean Henderson and Enda Stevens in his FPL team last season, has not selected any Blades players this time around, and has a rule to never ‘captain’ a player who is playing against United.
“I watch every Premier League…even when there are five or six games at the same time, I can manage to watch them all,” the Prince added.
“A big chunk of my time and my life is about fantasy football.”