Jesse Lingard’s form is no longer becoming an issue which Ole Gunnar Solskjaer can ignore.
With no goals or assists since January, Lingard looks like he needs a spell out of United’s starting line up.
Solskjaer can’t say he does not have options. Here is a look at seven possible replacements for Lingard over the coming weeks…
Andreas has shown glimpses of what he is capable of, only to be denied a run in the United team.
His long range goal against Southampton last season came in the attacking midfield role.
Pereira’s assist against Chelsea came as part of a three-man midfield with Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay.
He needs a consistent chance to play as the furthest forward of the three in order to thrive.
The most experienced and like for like replacement for Lingard, Mata still has a role to play at United this season.
He is better at opening up defences than Lingard and should have played ahead of him against Palace.
Mata is not the quickest and has limitations, but right now he is an upgrade.
Angel Gomes is the Jesse Lingard replacement we all want to see. He is United’s most talented youngster and his potential was clear in pre-season.
Gomes’ movement and technical ability is outstanding and he can bring his United teammates into the game more.
He has far higher upside than Lingard, and right now he deserves a chance.
How about letting Paul Pogba loose and giving him extra license to get forward?
We saw with his surging run against Wolves which won the penalty how dangerous he can be in such a scenario, but his attacking has been largely blunted this season by extra defensive duties.
United could do worse than putting Scott McTominay and say Nemanja Matic or Fred in behind him and let Pogba orchestrate the attack.
Providing he is not sold before the European deadline, Alexis Sanchez could have a part to play at United.
He is versatile and can play as a number 10, having done so previously for Chile.
Sanchez’s performances have left a lot to be desired, but if we keep him, it makes some sense to play him rather than simply leave him in the stands.
Mason Greenwood is a phenomenal talent, having made his first team debut for United at just 17.
He is two-footed, and he has been compared by fans to former United attacker Robin van Persie.
Greenwood is capable of adapting to Lingard’s role, he has the talent. Just getting him on the pitch makes United more dangerous.
Young Wales midfielder Dylan Levitt has a lot of potential and was unlucky not to make United’s tour squad.
He has continued to impress for United’s under-23s this season and possesses the creative qualities in order to be a success in the role.
Levitt is the most unlikely of these seven options to be called upon, but he is capable, and this highlights how United have greater strength in depth than it seems, when it comes to replacing Lingard.
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- Jesse Lingard’s England snub marked a new low – how does he get back on form?