Jesse Lingard scored the winning goal for Manchester United at the weekend against West Ham.

The winner was a superb individual goal from Lingard. The strike was the first decisive winning goal Lingard had scored for Manchester United since 2018, a 2-1 victory over Chelsea.

The England international is in line to start in the Carabao Cup against West Ham in midweek, the club website confirm.

West Ham United v Manchester United - Premier League
(Photo by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images)

Former United star Rio Ferdinand is delighted to see Lingard impressing.

Speaking to his Five podcast, he said: “If he weren’t going to get opportunities then I would say ‘you got to go’.

“But it looks like Ole has said to him in the summer ‘you are going to get opportunities, I’m going to give you game time, and you’ve got to make an impact’, and he’s doing that.”

‘Unique’

It was inevitable that Lingard would be the one to make the breakthrough against his former loan side at the weekend. And it spoke to his quality, with West Ham knowing the exact danger he would pose.

 

Ferdinand added that he feels Lingard is a unique player in United’s squad and that is what makes him valuable.

The former centre-back said: “He’s different. His movement off the ball is different to any of the players we have got, in terms of making himself available, making one or two touch, always on the move, and doing work off the ball too.

“And you need that variety in the team. They can’t all be similar players, he gives you that something different.”

A player reborn

Lingard’s spell at West Ham in the first part of 2021 lifted his confidence and gave him the game time he needed.

Manchester United v Newcastle United - Premier League
(Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images)

Solskjaer has selected him four times from the substitutes bench this season and Lingard has scored twice.

The challenge is for him to get starts, and that will kick off this week. Bruno Fernandes will need rests through the season and that will provide Lingard more opportunities.

Solskjaer seems to recognise Lingard can still contribute, he would not have fought for him to stay otherwise. The player is now rewarding that faith.

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