Brave Jesse Lingard has opened up on the personal demons he battled during his time at Manchester United before his move to West Ham.
The attacking midfielder is enjoying a new lease of life at the London Stadium and it could be argued that he’s actually in the form of his career.
His six goals and four assists in eight Premier League games have seen him earn a recall to the England squad and has almost guaranteed that the Irons will make a real effort to sign him permanently in the summer.
He struggled at times last season and he has now admitted to his mum’s ordeal with depression, and the need for him to step up and look after his siblings.
Speaking to beIN SPORTS, via the Daily Mail, he said: “It was really tough. My mum’s had depression for many years now and we never really got her the right help.
“To get the help that she needed was all we wanted. All she wanted was to see her son happy and playing football. I think that’s helped as well – seeing me do well, she’s over the moon and it puts her in good spirits.
“No one prepares you for stuff like that… I wasn’t really prepared at the time but I had my family members around me. I looked after my little brother and sister, which was fun, more responsibility for me to be more grown up!”
Lingard knows the responsibilities affected his form, and regrets that. His brother is 14 and his sister is 11.
He said: “The person off the pitch carries onto the pitch and you become that person on the pitch.
“When I was down and low it felt like I wasn’t even playing games or I wasn’t even there and the game was passing me by, it was an awful feeling.
“Awful for your family to see. Awful for your family to come and watch games and know “that’s not Jesse Lingard,” it’s upsetting for them as well as me.”
The paper reports that Lingard was rebuked publicly by manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Old Trafford and he was subsequently inspired to speak out about his turmoil, and he has urged anyone struggling to do the same.
He added: “When I spoke out it was such a relief.
“It was like the world was off your shoulders and you could breathe again properly. You get the help when you do speak. Bottling up is not the answer.
“Everyone’s got to come out and say something no matter what you’re going through.”