Jesse Lingard enjoyed a dream debut for West Ham as he scored two goals in a win over Aston Villa.
Lingard clinched his loan move to the Hammers at the end of last week and wasted little time making an impression.
This was Lingard’s first Premier League game of the season. He played only three cup games for United.
His opening goal was actually the second consecutive league game Lingard had scored. He did so as a substitute against Leicester City on the final day of last season.
Lingard made it two goals as he struck late to put West Ham three up in an impressive win for David Moyes’ side.
Lingard’s previous Premier League start for United came back in January 2020. Bruno Fernandes’ arrival shunted him to the sidelines.
Playing with a smile on his face
After losing nearly a year of his career through simply not being selected, Lingard looked thrilled to be back playing again.
You could tell he was enjoying it on his debut for West Ham, and he enjoyed a free role in attack behind Michail Antonio in the win.
Lingard struggled at United after the 2018 World Cup. He went a whole year without scoring a league goal or providing an assist.
Sadly when he did appear to pick up a bit of form at the end of last season, with goals against Leicester and LASK, he was not given another opportunity to follow it up.
One thing was very clear from Lingard’s goal, and that is how much United fans still adore the player who came through the academy and scored a FA Cup final winner in 2016.
It may not be for United any more, but Lingard is enjoying his football again and it is nice to see. He is only on loan, so you never know what might happen beyond this, but in the here and now, he looks to be in a good place to get his career back on track.
Lingard won’t be eligible to face United in the FA Cup in a week’s time. Judging on this form, it’s just as well…
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