Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville admits that he was surprised to see Jesse Lingard stay at Old Trafford. The England international was told that he should be playing 40-45 matches per season and Neville has reiterated the same thing.
But now staying in Manchester has meant that he is used as a fringe player by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Someone whom he can use to bring on from the bench. There were strong interest from West Ham to sign the midfielder this summer after he spent half a season with them on loan. But the deal did not go through and Lingard made up his mind to stay at Old Trafford.
The 28-year-old now faces fierce competition in the starting eleven especially with Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo’s arrival this summer. While Lingard is getting regular chances from the bench, he scored a winner against West Ham in their 2-1 win, Neville believes that the midfielder deserves a lot more.
Neville told Sky Sports: “I still maintain he should’ve left but he will have his moments. I was happy to see how he bounced back after what happened in Europe in midweek.
“To bounce back and score the winner is a fantastic moment for him. He’s got good character, he’s a very good player and I feel he should be playing 40-45 games a season.
“He won’t get that at United in terms of 90-minute starts but he’s one of those players that I do feel United will benefit from having. I just thought for Jesse himself, he should’ve left. United could be a better team with someone like Lingard in it.”
However, Lingard has no regrets about not managing to leave the club. Instead, he is focused on helping the club win silverware this season to end the five-year barren run.
The Englishman has already scored twice this season in the Premier League. One was the recent winner against West Ham United and the other one was on Ronaldo’s comeback drubbing against Newcastle United. However, he had a forgetful outing in the Champions League against Young Boys as they lost the match 2-1.
The Red Devils will now face West Ham again, this time in the third round of the Carabao Cup.