Man Utd star Jesse Lingard is attempting to build a brand as big as Cristiano Ronaldo and David Beckham through fashion – The Sun
JESSE LINGARD is one of the most popular footballers in the world.
A master of appealing to a young audience, he has cultivated an image of himself as a trendsetter, dividing opinion amongst former pros who aren't at ease with his brand.
He recently showed off his Manchester home on MTV Cribs, with his pants and England caps stuffed into a glass cabinet.
And his JLingz moniker has earned the Manchester United midfielder a staggering 6.6m followers on Instagram.
Last year he become a fashion designer, revealing his own clothing label selling men's and women's streetwear and contemporary designs that he hopes will appeal to the masses.
Lingard, 27, even has his own scent, as well as mobile phone cases featuring a graphic of his trademark goal celebration.
It's a statement of intent from the Three Lions star, who is clearly ready to rival the likes of David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo in the style stakes with his range.
Taking a closer look at the JLingz fashion label, you'll find hoodies starting at a modest £45, quilted jackets costing £70 and T-shirts priced at around £30.
There's the 'Be Yourself' and the JLingz collections, and they include various accessories like trucker hats, beanie hats and socks.
It's an extensive lookbook that may appeal to fashionistas who aren't United or Lingard fans, but not everything footballers endorse strikes gold.
Last year, former Red Devil Zlatan Ibrahimovic's A-Z clothing line closed down after just two years in business reporting a staggering £18m loss.
While the AC Milan striker sold underwear, Lingard is backing streetwear and following a trend similar to non-league football star Marvin Morgan's Fresh Ego Kid that's seemingly on point at the moment.
But not everyone is impressed by Lingard's off-the-pitch activities.
Manchester United legends Gary Neville, Roy Keane and Paul Ince have all voiced their opinion on brand Lingard.
"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 said on Sky Sports last season.
While Keane countered: “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."
But it was the 'Guvnor' who was the most critical.
“There are plenty of things you can do outside of football, like taking coaching badges, doing a degree, learning a language," Ince wrote in a column for Paddy Power.
"You don’t need to make your own clothing brand as though you are one of the best stars in the world. He needs to remember who he is.
“He’s come a long way since he couldn’t get in the Derby side (where he was on loan in the 2014-15 season). Besides, the way he plays, who would want to wear his clothing range anyway?"
Early signs suggest that customers aren't convinced by Lingard's brand either, with the JLingz fashion line losing £200,000 in its first year.
While the jury's out on both Lingard's clothing range and his football career, perhaps the best thing he can do is concentrate on impressing his boss, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
And if he shifts a few hoodies too, well that'll be a bonus.
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