Manchester United legends Roy Keane and Gary Neville have criticised Jesse Lingard’s decision to launch a clothing range in the week leading up to the Red Devils’ clash with Liverpool.
England international Lingard launched his new 'Be yourself' range from his own fashion label JLingz last Sunday, exactly a week before United’s huge match at Anfield.
A number of Lingard’s United team-mates including Marcus Rashford, Romelu Lukaku, Paul Pogba and Luke Shaw, helped the forward launch the range at an event in Manchester city centre.
Former United full-back Neville says he has no issues with players having interests outside of football, but has questioned the timing of the launch given the enormity of Sunday’s game against Jurgen Klopp's title challengers.
"I like Jesse Lingard and I have no problem with him launching a clothes range. But before Liverpool away in the biggest match of the season? Don't do it this week. Do it before Fulham,” Neville told Sky Sports.
“I'm not having a go at him or his character because players should do other things. I just saw it and thought, 'don't do that - not this week'. Concentrate on Liverpool and have no other distractions."
Neville’s former United team-mate Keane was, perhaps unsurprisingly, more forthright in his views on Lingard’s clothing range, questioning whether he should be in getting involved in such activities at all while he is still playing.
"If it was a good strong dressing room that wouldn't be tolerated, and that's why I worry about the United dressing room,” Keane also told Sky Sports.
“That wouldn't be tolerated in a good dressing room. For a young player who is still learning his trade, and he could be the nicest player in the world, to be coming out with all that nonsense.
“People say you should have other things going on outside of football - I don't think you should.
“Football should be your number one priority. Focus on the game. Don't hide behind your cars, your tattoos or your agents. Play the game. You can do all that stuff when you retire."