Southgate insists Lingard can shine at United despite Ronaldo's return

Mon 06 September 2021 | 9:32

The Red Devils winger is up against intense rivalry for club spots, but he has continued to shine for his nation.

Jesse Lingard is expected to step up to the plate offered by

Cristiano Ronaldo

's return to Manchester United, with England boss

Gareth Southgate

convinced that the promising 28-year-old would be given regular playing time at club level. 

That has been a concern for a self-assured figure in recent years, with limited playing opportunities for United leading to a loan stint at West Ham last term.

Although no permanent transfer was completed during the summer window, Lingard has been joined at Old Trafford by Portuguese sensation Ronaldo; he scored twice in England's recent World Cup qualifying match versus Andorra. 

Lingard has just played four minutes in the 

Premier League

 this season, but Southgate is confident that he can gain the trust of domestic bosses after shining for his nation, telling the journalists:

"That's a situation that we have had with different players over a long period with England.

"It wasn't long ago that the numbers of English players in the league was low and we would have to pick players that weren't regulars in their team or on loan. We picked Mason [Mount] from the Championship so we have had to be creative.

"We know Jesse has a challenge and he knows he has a big challenge with the quality of attacking players at United. But they've also got a lot of matches in different competitions so hopefully he can take that challenge on and he will take that challenge on.

"He has rebounded brilliantly in the last 12 months from a difficult period and he has shown that he has got quality. It is not necessarily the quality of the opponent but it is performing with the quality of players that we have and stand out. That shows his level of quality.

"I know that I have had criticism for including him in squads but he is just a player that always plays well for us. He is always a threat on goal with bright link play. When we ask him to start wide, we know he will come in and do the give-and-gos.

"He has really good intelligence and works hard without the ball and presses well. 

"[Against Andorra] I thought he was the brightest spark, particularly in the first half as it was the type of game where those players who can manipulate the ball between the lines would shine more than others."

Lingard's first appearance for Man Utd this season came in a 1-1 tie with Southampton on August 22 as a late sub.

Since then, he's played 96 minutes for the Three Lions in back-to-back 4-0 wins over Hungary and Andorra, and he'll be aiming to play again against Poland on Wednesday. 

Lingard has a tough battle for playing time at United along with a five-time Ballon d'Or victor, Anthony Martial, Edinson Cavani, Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood, Juan Mata, Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba, Jadon Sancho, and Donny van de Beek are all vying for a spot in

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

's offensive or playmaking lineup.



source: SportMob

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