Jesse Lingard scored two goals for West Ham last night to mark an impressive debut.
Lingard’s performance drew applause on social media, from Manchester United players.
Marcus Rashford and Harry Maguire were among those to congratulate Lingard, while loanees Diego Dalot and Tahith Chong plus former teammate Timothy Fosu-Mensah also responded.
Lingard’s performance was a reminder he is too good to be sat on the bench.
Often in the first half of the season, Lingard failed to get that far, often failing to make United’s match day squad.
It is important for him to get playing again for the sake of his career. Lingard could even have a shot of making the Euro 2021 squad with England, especially if he carries on playing like this.
His two goal showing against Aston Villa helped him upstage Jack Grealish, and was a reminder he has plenty more to offer.
Lingard was always a visibly popular player in United’s squad and the reaction of the players to his eye-catching debut underlines this.
Does Lingard have a United future?
Ultimately this is down to Lingard and what he wants. Does he see the West Ham loan as a simple ‘means to an end’ to get back in the England squad?
Or is he looking for something longer term? At this stage he is probably keeping an open mind and that would be a sensible move.
Playing like this, Lingard is an asset, but if he did stay at United next season, he would still be stuck behind Bruno Fernandes in the pecking order.
As much as he loves United, going back to sitting on the sidelines will be tough for him after getting a taste of regular action.
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