Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may not have received much credit for it, but he seems to be moving Manchester United in the right direction.
The Red Devils currently sit fifth in the Premier League table – just three points behind fourth – and pretty much have Europa League progression secured after their 5-0 win against LASK.
However, there is still work for him to do if he is ever to get United back to their former glory, and part of that means phasing out some of those within the squad who are simply not good enough.
Jesse Lingard has to be at the very top of the list of players who need this action taken against them.
The 27-year-old has played 35 games across all competitions this campaign, but has only scored two goals, which came against FC Astana and Tranmere Rovers.
One shocking statistic is that he hasn’t made a single goal contribution in the Premier League this term, which shows that Solskjaer can’t rely on him if he wants to move United forward.
His general statistics are troubling too, as he averages just 1 key pass and 0.7 dribbles per game while making 1.2 bad touches – hardly the impact you’d expect from an attacking midfielder.
Considering Lingard was representing England at the last World Cup, it is almost incredible that he is now failing to show anywhere near the quality needed to be starting for United.
Maybe it is the hope attached to a local lad coming good that makes his campaign seem even more anticlimactic – especially while his good friend Marcus Rashford led the way before getting injured, scoring 18 goals in all competitions.
However, when sentimentality is taken out of the equation, it is clear to see that the 27-year-old has simply not been good enough and has been arguably United’s biggest disappointment of the season.
Considering his age, Lingard should be producing by now – that simply isn’t happening and United can’t afford to let him slow them down any longer.
Meanwhile, keeping Odion Ighalo may have consequences.