Manchester United’s transfer window additions of Bruno Fernandes and Odion Ighalo have given Ole Gunnar Solskjaer new attacking options.
The other side of the coin from the double move is that it has become harder to now make United’s match day 18.
Jesse Lingard found this out the hard way on Monday night.
He did not even make the bench at Stamford Bridge, with Andreas Pereira and Juan Mata preferred.
There was no place for young attackers Angel Gomes or Tahith Chong either. United currently consider better options are available
This may change around for the Europa League game in midweek, but when push came to shove for a must win game, this was indicative of how Ole Gunnar Solskjaer feels about his squad.
Fall from grace
Lingard had started the opening day of the Premier League season against Chelsea, and he also was picked to start the Carabao Cup win at Stamford Bridge.
He has had a very poor season and despite featuring in December wins over Tottenham and Manchester City, his form has not been up to scratch.
This led to the move for Bruno Fernandes becoming essential, and while the Portugal international is still settling in, he is a better option than Lingard.
You have to wonder what Lingard was thinking pre-game too, seeing his reported new agent Mino Raiola [Telegraph] fire off critical tweets in the direction of Solskjaer, owing to his handling of Paul Pogba.
Lingard’s United spell isn’t over yet. There will be games where he gets the nod in the matchday squad and Pereira and / or Mata are left out. But the 2-0 win last night hardly makes it any easier for him.
He just now has to work harder, and is no longer a shoe-in into the United team. With his England place at Euro 2020 at serious risk, Lingard faces an uphill climb to break back into favour at Old Trafford.
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