Jesse Lingard: United’s Unsung Hero

Jesse Lingard: United’s Unsung Hero
Mar 23, 2016

by Manchester United

Many players have made their Manchester United debut under current manager Louis Van Gaal. Some have taken advantage of the opportunity presented to them, some have not. 23 year old youth academy product Jesse Lingard has made the most of his opportunity.

Like most young players, Lingard can be lacking in terms of consistency. But given it is his first healthy year with the senior squad, I believe his performances have been more than acceptable. In fact, he has been a breath of fresh air in the squad.

His average match rating this year has been 6.92, which is higher than Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata, and Memphis Depay, per WhoScored.com.

The attacking midfielder/ winger has also accounted for five goals in all competitions and three assists. His most effective position has been attacking midfield on the left side, he has scored two goals and assisted one in this position in four appearances. Unfortunately rising star Anthony Martial has played there in the majority of matches, forcing Lingard to play on the right side where he has not been as productive.

His importance to United’s success is obvious. In the eight matches where he has scored/assisted United are undefeated at 6-2-0. He scored a crucial goal in United’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea on 7-2-16 that would have proven to be the match winner had Diego Costa not scored the equalizer in stoppage time. The strike was voted Manchester United’s goal of the month for February.

At 23 years old, it’s certainly not a sure thing that he will be continue to play as well as he has, but in terms of this season, I feel he deserves more credit than he has been given by a certain portion of the fan base. The mistakes and misses he makes from time to time should not be the focal point of his United career up to this point. United fans should be rejoicing that a youth player has graduated to the first team and made a positive impact. I hope to see him in red for years to come.

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