Jesse Lingard is a team player and deserves more recognition from Manchester United supporters

Manchester United attacking midfielder Jesse Lingard has been praised by manager Jose Mourinho for his efforts in the 3-1 victory over Arsenal in the Premier League on Saturday evening. Lingard scored a brace, his first in the 11th minute of the match and his second in the 63rd minute, restoring United’s two-goal cushion in the match. United closed the gap to just five points with rivals Manchester City beating West Ham United 2-1 at the Etihad on Sunday evening, restoring that eight-point lead at the top of the Premier League table.

United hung on to claim the victory over Arsenal despite Paul Pogba being sent off in the 74th minute for a challenge on Hector Bellerin. Lingard has had a great week, restoring United’s two-goal cushion against Watford on Tuesday evening, resulting in a 4-2 victory, then scoring his brace against Arsenal, meaning he had scored three goals in the same week. Mourinho, reported by Sky Sports speaking about Lingard, said:

“He played well. 

“He did what the team needed him to do, defensively and also in terms of going into finishing areas.

“We worked pre-season well and hard about playing sometimes with three at the back, sometimes four.

“When we play with two strikers we need people from the midfield that can arrive in finishing situations and that’s what Jesse did for us.”

The victory over Arsenal was an end to their 12-game home winning run in the league and was the North London club’s fifth defeat of the season. Lingard will be fired up to play for his side in the first Manchester derby of the season. Lingard has scored a hat-trick of goals this week and looking at his highlight reel, it will make him look like a contender for the Ballon d’Or after scoring some crucial goals for the club in the last two years alone. Speaking after the Arsenal victory and reported by the official Manchester United website, Lingard said:

“The early goal settled everyone’s nerves and it’s great to have David [De Gea] behind us in goal. We can rely on him and trust him. Our defence was really stable today and we defended really well.”

This season, Lingard has made 18 appearances for United, starting seven times, coming off the bench 11 times. He has scored six goals, three in the Carabao Cup and three in the Premier League. Four assists have been made by the player, three in the Premier League and one in the Carabao Cup. Lingard has had 22 shots on goal, 12 of those being on target – a 54% shooting accuracy. These may not be the statistics of a prolific goalscorer but they are the stats of a player giving his all for the club he plays for. This should be accepted by all supporters.

It makes me wonder if those who do not rate Lingard actually celebrate his goals, as the bile they proliferate about the player should not result in praise for any goals, at least not in my opinion anyway. Logic would dictate just that too. But still, in football, logic is usually missed as if someone has an option, especially on Football Twitter, if you do not match that opinion, you are attacked by a bunch of children who have nothing better to do. Jesse Lingard is a Manchester United player, that will not change while he has the support of the manager – he will have that as long as he keeps on trying.

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