Jesse Lingard has spoken to the media as part of the English national team’s setup before their match against Andorra on Saturday, and he was asked many questions about Manchester United and he gave his opinions on two of United’s big signings in this window.
I – probably like many fans of the club – was surprised when Lingard did not leave Old Trafford this summer.
After a good six months on loan at West Ham United, it seemed like the best move for him to leave United to get regular playing time at another club.
But he has returned Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s faith in him with two goals in his limited appearances in the squad. But his teammate’s form was the topic of discussion, with a reporter asking Lingard about the new signing Jadon Sancho.
He said of the player’s struggle to find form: “I think it will take some time to adapt.
“Jadon has been around long enough, he knows football from the inside out, and the Premier League can be tough. He’s adapting. We’ve seen glimpses. He’s only going to get better. We have full confidence and hope that Jadon succeeds. “
Sancho has not yet given a goal or an assist to United during his time at the club, and his lack of form has seen many fans ask Lingard to start over, but based on his comments he is completely behind the player.
Lingard has previously been criticized for his actions, perceived as being serious and not fully focused on playing and more focused on off-field antics, but not only did his time at West Ham prove that this was untrue, I feel like to wherever Lingard is, helps other younger players feel comfortable and helps them settle on the first team.
His presence in the locker room and around the training ground is something that is often overlooked. Former West Ham team-mate Ben Johnson had high praise for the player when he spoke to the Evening Standard: ‘You can see he has been on a top team as he carries himself on and off the pitch.
“On the court, mentally, his consciousness … he knows his next pass, and he calms the anxiety sometimes when the game can be scary.”
Clearly, Lingard will be one of the first players to make sure Sancho does not get too down on his performances and keep his head up.
Lingard, who is trying to be the example for younger players, probably stems from how his idol Cristiano Ronaldo dealt with the younger players during his first period with the club.
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And about how Ronaldo has acted during his return, Lingard has high praise. He said, “He has been brilliant.
“He’s brought so much to the team. The leadership factor, he wants to win in training, he wants to win in matches, and he wants to win trophies, which is the most important thing. He’s great to be there to see what he’s doing.
“You can learn so many things from him. He’s one of the best players in the world. Having him back home is perfect for us at the moment.”
It’s clearly Lingard’s admiration for the five-time Ballon d’Or winner, and he hopes to play with him in the coming months, which could affect his decision to sign a new contract as it expires at the end of this one. season.
Lingard hopes to join England in matches against Andorra and Hungary before returning to United, where he will most likely play a role in the diverse match the club has on the horizon. Lingard, Ronaldo and Lingard must all be in top form for United to remain in sight of the top four at the next international break.
Do you think Lingard should start against Leicester City after the international break? Follow our United On My Mind writer Casey Evans on Twitter to get involved in the discussion in the comments section below.