Jesse Lingard is evolving into a Manchester United star

For most of Jesse Lingard’s career at Manchester United, he has either spent time out on loan at a number of Championship clubs or sitting on the bench at Old Trafford. However, over the last couple of seasons, he has turned into a player who the Red’s cannot afford to leave out of the starting line-up, and is slowly evolving into a star for both club and country.

Lingard joined United’s academy as a seven-year-old and played for the youth sides right up until he signed his first professional contract at Old Trafford in 2011. He was part of the team that won the Youth Cup in 2010/11 along with now, United team-mate Paul Pogba and Everton centre-back, Michael Keane.

After a first season where he was called up the first-team on only two occasions and failed to make his senior debut, Lingard was loaned out in the summer of the 2012/13 season to Championship side Leicester City, making a total of five appearances before returning to United in January. He was loaned out again the following season, to Birmingham City, which proved to be more successful than his first loan spell, as he scored his first senior goal on his debut against Sheffield Wednesday.

He had further loan spells with both Brighton and Hove Albion and Derby County before making a real impact at Old Trafford, which came under the stewardship of Dutchman Louis van Gaal. In Van Gaal’s second season at United, Lingard scored his first competitive goal for the Red’s against West Bromwich Albion before starring in United’s FA Cup winning campaign where he scored the winning goal in the final against Crystal Palace.

Ever since then, Lingard has been a mainstay in the United squad and last season scored in both the Community Shield against Leicester and the EFL Cup final against Southampton. However, it’s been this season where Lingard has really got people talking about him in such glowing terms. Jose Mourinho has said:

“He is being more consistent, he is adaptable, he understands better the game, he understands the different spaces and positions. I think he is going in a good direction.”

That was Lingard’s problem in recent seasons, his lack of consistency, that is why he couldn’t get a steady run in the side, but that has changed this season and has appeared in all but four league games for the Red’s scoring eight goals.

The 25-year-old has become one of the first names on the team sheet, as we enter the final stages of this season and will be an important figure if United are to be successful in both the League and FA Cup.

He is also a front-runner to start for the national side at this summer’s World Cup, which will mark quite a turn-around for the man from Warrington. Long may his form and the trust Mourinho has in him continue, because with the way his football his going he could be a very important player for United not only this season but many seasons to come.

Written by Dan Pearce

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