West Ham manager David Moyes has said he sympathises with Jesse Lingard over the midfielder's lack of game time at Manchester United.
The 28-year-old Lingard enjoyed a successful loan spell with the Hammers last season, scoring nine goals in 16 appearances as the London club finished sixth in the Premier League.
Lingard, however, has not started a league game for United this season, making just eight substitute appearances, and has been repeatedly linked with a return to the Hammers.
"I can't really talk about him because he's a Manchester United player and it's not for me to talk," West Ham manager Moyes said Friday.
"But he was really good for us. Jesse knows what we all think of him here. My disappointment for Jesse would be, I think he's such a talented football player and he's not playing," added Moyes, himself a former manager of Manchester United.
"He played a big part in our second half of last season. But you'd have to give credit to the players here, they've moved on without Jesse."
The Hammers head into the weekend fourth in the table, a point ahead of Arsenal and three clear of United, ahead of Saturday's clash with leaders Chelsea.
It is all a far cry from the relegation battle that confronted Moyes when he took charge in December 2019, with West Ham already into the last 16 of this season's Europa League and Champions League qualification now a realistic ambition.
However, there were boos from some Hammers fans at the following their 1-1 draw with Brighton im midweek.
An unimpressed Moyes said: "I think really, the expectations of where the team have taken everybody to, there's also got to be part of that where you say, 'Wait a minute here, your team is doing really well. Don't be so stupid'.
"There's not a person at this club who deserved a boo. Not one person, because of what they've done at the club."