Once considered to be the future of his boyhood club by legendary Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, Jesse Lingard has endured a rather difficult start to the season.
The former England international has yet to feature for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side in the Premier League this season, let alone score a goal or supply an assist, and his poor performance against Watford in the FA Cup typified his poor slump in form.
Speaking after the game, Solskjaer said: “he’s been out for a while but he started brightly and then he tired as you’d expect.”
But his comments did little to disguise the fact Lingard’s first start in almost five months was largely disappointing.
Per SofaScore, the lightweight lost possession 14 times in 80 minutes, which was even worse than Daniel James, who also had a night to forget at Old Trafford. He committed two fouls and made no clearances or interceptions whatsoever, and lost five out of his nine duels overall as well.
It’s safe to say that his career has not panned out the way Lingard would have predicted and his latest display will have no doubt raised further questions about his future at the club as well.
Lingard, who reportedly earns £75,000-a-week, lacked any real sense of composure and almost looked lost for ideas on the very few occasions he actually strayed into the final third.
Since the arrival of Bruno Fernandes, chances have been hard to come by for the 28-year-old, and it looks like time has almost run out for him to stake his claim.
Barring an injury or coronavirus crisis, it’s hard to imagine Solskjaer will give Lingard much more playing time, as he simply has better options in the midfield.
His display against Watford will have done little to silence the critics as it was a sub-par performance by his standards, which was perhaps best summed up by Samuel Luckhurst of The Manchester Evening News, who added it’s ‘difficult to remember a standout contribution.’
AND in other news, Man United must bite the bullet and sell Phil Jones in January…