Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard clearly enjoys facing Arsenal. So it was a major blow when the 26-year-old’s hamstring injury ruled him out of Sunday’s clash.
The attacking midfielder scored in the league and the FA Cup against the Gunners this season. And his performance in the latter was outstanding from first minute to last.
Lingard’s pace and ability to interchange with United’s other attacking options ensured a tactical masterclass from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the cup. But the Norwegian could not repeat the trick this time round.
United have done well in Lingard’s absence yet there is no doubting his importance when fit and firing. He offers additional spark and means the Red Devils can hit hard and fast on the break, while relieving some of the pressure on Marcus Rashford.
Lingard’s presence on the field also gets the best out of Paul Pogba.
The Frenchman scored six league goals in six games alongside the England international under Solskjaer but has looked out of sorts in his absence.
United’s injury problems are easing by the week but Lingard cannot return soon enough.
The matches are coming thick and fast and Lingard could be vital in any success come May.