Jesse Lingard considered 'time out' from football due to poor mental health

England and West Ham midfielder Jesse Lingard admitted that he considered a small break from the game recently due to mental health issues.

Jesse Lingard celebrates his goal against Leicester City; Credit: West Ham United Twitter page

England midfielder Jesse Lingard has shone for West Ham United since completing a loan move to the side in January 2021. The Manchester United academy graduate found playing time hard to come by at Old Trafford this season. However, a loan move to the London side has invigorated him. However, the 28-year-old has admitted that he considered a small break from the game recently. His mother had been dealing with mental health issues and this naturally spilled over onto him.

“Not quit football (due to mental health issues), just have a time out really,” he told entertainment programme Presenting. “I was going into games happy sitting on the bench and that’s not me.

“I was telling my brother the other day: ‘Remember when I was happy sitting on the bench and all this?’ I didn’t want to play because my mind wasn’t there, I wasn’t focused at all.

“I was thinking about other things and obviously bottling it all up; trying to play football, you can’t do it.”

Hard to bottle things up: Lingard

His form has been so good that he earned an England recall. However, Lingard admits to struggling with playing the game when plagued with issues.

“Through the years we had the help for (his mother), but even just for me it’s hard to bottle things up.

“It feels like you’re not the same person. I felt like I wasn’t Jesse Lingard. Even in football matches, I felt like the game was just passing me by, like I just didn’t want to be there – it was crazy.

“So, I opened up to United and told them what I was going through, what my mum was going through and they’re always there to help.”

Lingard further stated that opening up about his issues helped him considerably.

His form has been key to West Ham’s recent league run. They currently sit fifth, level on points with fourth-placed Chelsea in the Premier League.

Interestingly, the two sides will meet in a league encounter on Saturday.




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