Jesse Lingard sets sights on 2022 World Cup
Jesse Lingard has his sights set on playing for England at the 2022 World Cup and admits missing out on the summer’s European Championship is providing him with extra motivation.
The Manchester United forward is currently on international duty with England, who play Andorra and Hungary in the next week as part of World Cup qualification.
Having played, scored and starred at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Lingard was disappointed to miss out on the squad for UEFA Euro 2020, despite showing excellent form in his loan spell at West Ham United.
Back at Manchester United now, and with a couple of goals and assists under his belt already, Lingard is confident and in form.
Speaking to reporters at England’s St. George’s Park training camp, Lingard explained that missing out on the Euro 2020 squad “gives you more hunger and motivation to be playing in the biggest of tournaments and games”.
He continued, as quoted by the Press Association, to say: “It's always hard. Considering where I was for a period of time, not playing as much and not in the England squad, to get into the 33-man squad [for the Euros] shows what you can do with hard work and belief.
“I was disappointed to miss out [on the final 25-man squad] but I was still there supporting the boys through thick and thin. They had a great chance after getting into the final but we have to move on quickly and prepare for the new season.
“I've been with England for many years and I've seen camps change over the years, but at the moment I think the camps I've been at now are one of the best.
“The togetherness and the team spirit, Gareth's really got us set up right. The games we're going into, there's real confidence and we're trying to obviously get through the qualifiers.”
Lingard will be looking forward to taking on Andorra on Saturday evening. When the two sides last faced each other, only a month ago at the start of September, the 28-year-old scored two and assisted one in a 4-0 victory.
Many of his United appearances thus far this season have come as a substitute because competition among the club’s attackers is intense. Four of United’s exciting forwards are all England internationals – Lingard is joined in that regard by Marcus Rashford, returning from injury soon, Mason Greenwood, and Jadon Sancho, the summer signing from Borussia Dortmund.
Speaking about Sancho, who has excited fans with his quick footwork, vision and directness, but is yet to score, Lingard said he thinks “it's going to take some time to adapt”.
“Jadon's been around long enough, he knows football 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 in Jadon to succeed.”