Jesse Lingard impact deserves being rewarded with Premier League start
Jesse Lingard came off the bench to make yet another devastating impact for Manchester United against Villarreal.
But the England international’s impressive form should result in more game time and potentially be rewarded with a first Premier League start of the season against Everton.
It’s becoming increasingly difficult for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to not include the 28-year-old because in every game he has featured, Lingard has influenced the game.
That does include his unfortunate role in the Young Boys defeat, but the character and mentality Lingard showed to respond against West Ham highlighted his desire to break into United’s starting eleven.
Calls for Lingard difficult to ignore
When Lingard came on in the 89th minute against Unai Emery’s side, it looked like United would be heading for a draw.
And despite only having four touches (SofaScore) in the time he was on the pitch, Villarreal didn’t know how to contain Lingard.
His clever moment almost saw him clinch the winner from a Cristiano Ronaldo cross but his effort was saved by Geronimo Rulli.
In the 95th minute when Ronaldo nodded down a header to him, Lingard showed unbelievable composure to be the calmest man inside Old Trafford and cushion the ball back into Ronaldo’s path.
The 36-year-old slotted the ball home and sent the Theatre of Dreams into a frenzy.
But it was Lingard who proved to be the gamechanger once again. He gives this United side something different with his ability to get himself in goalscoring positions.
He’s always on the move and that’s a nightmare for defenders especially when they are already having to contend with the likes of Ronaldo, Edinson Cavani and Bruno Fernandes.
Deserved Everton start
If it weren’t for the injuries to Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw against Aston Villa, it seemed fairly certain that Solskjaer would have turned to Lingard to rescue his side.
But Lingard who has come back to United to play isn’t going to settle for being a super sub, he’ll want to make a place his own in the starting eleven.
It seems very unlikely that Bruno Fernandes is going to get a rest anytime soon, but if Solskjaer opts to play Pogba centrally like he did against the Yellow Submarine, Lingard could be vying for a spot with Jadon Sancho.
Lingard has played 136 minutes of club football this season and he is averaging a goal involvement (two goals and an assist) every 45 minutes.
The case for starting Lingard is getting stronger and becoming more and more difficult for Solskjaer to ignore.
Saturday could be Jesse’s chance to hurt Everton from the start.