Jesse Lingard wanted to take break from football last year due to mental health issues.

Lingard wanted to take a break from football last year due to mental health issues afflicting him and his family.

Jesse Lingard has unveiled at one point in time he thought to take a break from football last year due to mental health issues afflicting him and his family.

On loan from Manchester United to West Ham, Jesse Lingard has scored nine times so far for the West Ham. It looks to earn an England recall, he has done a great job and he is expected to be in England squad once again to be part of Gareth Southgate’s team for this summer’s European Championship.

West Ham as they attempt to secure a top-four finish in the Premier League, but his destiny remains unclear with the loan due to expire at the end of the season. But till he is at West Ham, he feels ready again to give his all after such a difficult 12 months.

“Not quit football, just have a time out really,” 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.”

“Through the years we had the help for her, but even just for me it’s hard to bottle things up,” Lingard said. “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.”

“I could have easily quit in lockdown, been like: ‘Nah I don’t want to do it.

Lingard said he could have given up easily but instead he was smashing the gym, doing runs. He had in his mind that he wants to be back faster more fittest than anyone else he kept doing his hard work during the lockdowns.

He feels like lockdown has kind of transitioned him in a way. He watched his old games back and watched the World Cup games back and  thought: ‘Yeah, that’s the real Jesse Lingard.’ The time that I had going a couple of seasons back or last season, it just wasn’t me at all and you can see that. My brother who lives with me, he could see that and he’s got a video of me literally laying on the couch and I’m just staring for three minutes into thin air and he’s just thinking: ‘What is he going through? He’s got the weight of the world on his shoulders.’ And even he didn’t know what I was going through at the time.”

I feel like with my mum and me I’ve learned that when you open up you feel like a butterfly – you’re in a cocoon and then you can spread your wings, you can fly. It’s an amazing feeling and now I’ve got all that behind me and I can concentrate on football and my family.

“Of course, you’re going to get dragged through and there are going to be highs and lows and you might have a low point but you’ve got to find that something in you, that never give up, that attitude to go again, go again, go again because I’ve never been a quitter.”

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