Why ex-Man United man Jesse Lingard was gifted a flute as he arrived in South Korea ahead of move to FC Seoul

The somewhat forgotten man was handed a flute by a fan when he landed in the country. As you do.

Danny Jones Danny Jones - 7th February 2024

Former Manchester United star Jesse Lingard has finally found himself a new club as he is set to join South Korean side FC Seoul on a free, pending a full medical, but many football fans were left scratching their heads after he was presented with a flute after touching down at the airport.

Lingard has been a free agent in the transfer market ever since his contract at Nottingham Forest expired last summer and despite reportedly receiving interest from more than 20 clubs in that time, the ex-Man United midfielder has now decided to try out life in the K-League.

While many will be wondering why he chose FC Seoul, in particular — especially when he had been linked with the likes of Lazio, Everton and his former loan club West Ham for the longest time — even more might be raising an eyebrow as to why exactly a fan gifted him a flute when arrived in South Korea.

Well, obviously, there is some context behind it.

It’ll make sense in a minute…

As explained by Korea Football News on X, the flute is actually a traditional Korean wind instrument made out of bamboo called a ‘danso’ and as for why was given it (besides being a token of the new culture he is embracing) you’d have to go back to his time at United and West Ham.


For those who remember his in-form periods for the Red Devils and purple patch for the Hammers, Lingard was well known for whipping all manner of amusing celebrations, from the moonwalk and making the now official ‘J-Lingz’ logo with his hands to, you guessed it, playing the flute.

He enjoyed the dance and flute playing gesture on more than a few occasions during his time across the two clubs and given its humorous nature, not to mention his popularity and Premier League profile at the time, the celebration went on to be mimicked by others and even feature in multiple FIFA games.


All that being said, while it might look a bit random that he was given a woodwind instrument at first glance, it’s actually not that bizarre when you look into it — even if the whole thing did start out as a nod to St Patrick’s Day away back in 2017. We expect he’ll be whipping out the flute if he scores on debut.

Be awkward if he didn’t bring back that celebration now, wouldn’t it?

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Soon to pen an apparent two-year deal with the club after passing the first part of his medical and his official unveiling imminent, the 31-year-old is expected to join up with FC Seoul right away.

Although there are few concrete details surrounding the exact terms of the deal, it has been reported that the Warrington-born footballer will sign his contract “within the next 24 hours” and is rumoured to have been promised a “lucrative salary”.


Linagrd’s signing will also likely serve as a bit of a marquee coup for the K-League, similar to the raft of senior players that have recently joined Saudi Arabia and could potentially attract more talents from Europe to make the switch later in their careers.

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Featured Images — Sports Seoul (via X)/Korea Dispatch (screenshot)