Credit where it’s due. Jesse Lingard played a key part in Manchester United’s fightback against Sheffield United.

He was a half-time substitute against Sheffield United, replacing the disastrous Phil Jones, as United switched tactics.

The change of system clearly worked, with Lingard helping United keep possession, and providing a key link to the attacking players.

What was most impressive about Lingard’s performance was that he created four goalscoring chances.

While he didn’t assist any of our three goals, Lingard’s creativity helped challenge Sheffield United’s normally resolute backline.

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He needed this

Lingard has been out of favour in recent weeks and he has deserved to sit on the sidelines. He has not been picked to start a Premier League game since September 30.

He has played in cup games, and been used frequently from the bench, but he hasn’t done anything to state his case during these appearances.

This was a game which will have lifted his confidence, and it puts him in contention to start next Sunday in the Premier League against Aston Villa.

Lingard is in a three way battle with Andreas Perera and Juan Mata for a starting place. None of them are doing much to stand out.

 

At Bramall Lane, Lingard had two shots at goal, both of which missed the target.

His lack of goals is a big problem, his last came in January. But Lingard has had so much stick, and we have criticised his poor displays, so it is only fair to give him some credit for his role in an impressive fightback from two goals down to claim a draw – which was nearly a win.

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The future

It has been obvious for a while, that Jesse Lingard is not good enough to be a regular starter for Manchester United.

A top level player is required for the attacking midfield role, one who can create and score goals.

That could be Bruno Fernandes, Hakim Ziyech, or James Maddison. Somebody. United need to make a move.

That will clearly hurt Lingard, but United should be past worrying about that at this point.

However, Lingard can be a useful squad player even if he is not a weekly starter. Sunday showed that.

This was a small step in the right direction for a player who has had a terrible 2019.

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