Gary Neville has defended Jesse Lingard after the Manchester United star’s recent behaviour on social media.
The England international has been active online throughout a post-season break in Miami with team-mate Marcus Rashford.
He baffled supporters with a bizarre ‘Beans Beans Beans’ video which went viral last week, but he sparked outrage with a second video he uploaded last Wednesday.
In the clip, Lingard is heard swearing, while one of his friends is seen simulating a sex act in bed, as he gyrates with a pillow.
However, while the 26-year-old has been criticised for his continued presence on social media, with fans branding him ‘unprofessional’ and ‘disrespectful’, United legend Neville has spoken out in his defence.
“Jesse Lingard doesn’t drink a lot. Twenty years ago, somebody going on a holiday would have been ‘bladdered’ for four weeks. What’s worse – a social media post where somebody’s having a bit of a joke or getting bladdered for four weeks?” said the Sky Sports pundit during a Soccer Science conference inside Manchester’s Hotel Football.
“You’d rather have your player being sober, probably training all day and having a joke with his mates.
“This is absolutely a lesser evil than we had 20 years ago when players would go off for five or six weeks and come back overweight, saying ‘pre-season’s for getting fit’.
“The idea of a guy going on social media, looking a bit of a prat while not winning football matches and not playing that well is a really bad cocktail.
“But then again, on the other side, he’s giving his all, he’s a young lad and social media is the modern form of media, so get over it.”
United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will issue Lingard with a stern warning over his social media antics, according to reports.
The Daily Mail report that the video has outraged Solskjaer, who intends to contact the player to discuss the incident before United report back for pre-season next month.
It’s further claimed that Lingard only intended to save the video, but accidentally posted it on the social media platform instead.