Ole backs Jesse to show his best form
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has tipped Jesse Lingard to achieve great things with the Reds this season, as the Academy graduate prepares to face the club he shone for on loan last term.
The past week has been a rollercoaster for Lingard, who found the net spectacularly against Newcastle United last Saturday but unfortunately had an injury-time back pass seized upon by Jordan Siebatcheu to hand opponents Young Boys all three points in our opening game in Group F on Tuesday evening.
Following our midweek disappointment, a whole host of Jesse's United team-mates have been extremely supportive, with online outpourings from the likes of Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba and Harry Maguire. All of them have backed the Reds' no.14 in their shows of loyalty on social media.
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The same positivity was also evident in Solskjaer, as he spoke about his ambitions for Jesse at United, and his admiration for the way he has returned to Manchester, following an impressive loan spell with Sunday’s opponents towards the tail end of the 2020/21 campaign.
"We see him as a Manchester United player in the future," said the manager in his pre-match press conference.
"Jesse has come back to us after a great spell at West Ham. He showed his qualities and got back into the England squad.
"We really want to see the best of him this season," added Ole.
Lingard's stats with West Ham certainly make impressive reading. As well as scoring nine times in 16 league appearances for the Hammers after joining them on loan in January, the 28-year-old also contributed five assists as he helped the Hammers achieve European qualification for the first time since the 2016/17 season.
A brace on his debut against Aston Villa was to be only the start for the United Academy graduate, as he also netted against Tottenham, Leeds United, Arsenal, Leicester, Newcastle and Wolves.
The latter were on the receiving end of his best goal. Picking up the ball from just inside his own half, Jesse launched a counter attack and with a superb turn of pace, he dribbled past three players before smashing a terrific shot beyond the on-rushing Rui Patricio.
That strike earned him the Premier League Goal of the Month award for April, and he collected the Player of the Month accolade too.
Lingard also became the quickest West Ham player to register ten direct goal involvements since that statistic was first logged, doing it in just nine games. Paul Kitson’s record of 12 games had stood since 1997.
Solskjaer also touched upon Lingard's situation at the club he has been with since the age of 7.
"He's got one year left on his contract and the club is talking to him and his dad," explained Ole.
"We support him and we hope to keep him here with us. He’s a Red through and through."