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The Chalkboard: Jesse Lingard’s absence with injury was to blame for United’s poor form

Jesse Lingard netted his second goal of the international break as he came off the bench to grab the equaliser against Croatia on Sunday, and his excellent performances for Gareth Southgate’s side could offer a clue as to why Manchester United have struggled so often in recent weeks.

On the chalkboard

The 25-year-old has recently returned from a groin injury that meant he missed five games in all competitions for the Reds, and Jose Mourinho’s side won just one of those as United came back to beat Newcastle 3-2.

United currently sit in eighth place in the Premier League, below Bournemouth and Watford, after an extremely poor start to the season by their standards.

Lingard has recently been on the comeback trail, but he has only managed two substitute appearances and then just under an hour from the start in the Manchester derby for United. However, his performances for England should excite United fans and potentially prove that he has been the missing cog.

Jesse Lingard for Manchester United

Slotting in

In the white of England during this international break, Lingard started the friendly against the USA and opened the scoring after 25 minutes with a beautiful curling strike that is quickly becoming his trademark.

His goal against Croatia that followed was his fourth for England in 22 caps, and sparked the comeback that Harry Kane completed late on as the Three Lions topped their Nations League group to progress through to the finals.

If Lingard can replicate this form when he gets back to United then he will have a huge impact on the club’s form. With Southgate now preferring a 4-3-3 Lingard also gets the chance to play in the same wide left role for both club and country, so his game can be simplified and developed to build him into the key player that United need so badly at the moment.

The Playmaker FC squad decided to wind-up some unsuspecting Brazil fans at the Emirates on Saturday night. Watch the hilarious results in the video below…

Article title: The Chalkboard: Jesse Lingard’s absence with injury was to blame for United’s poor form

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