With most Manchester United fans baying for attacking football, even ex-players got on that bandwagon, Manchester United finally showed that they could play some fairly decent football against CSKA Moscow in the UEFA Champions League. The star of the show was Chris ‘Mike’ Smalling, as he ensured that United kept a clean sheet, but another player was also in a starring role as he took centre stage at Old Trafford.
It wasn’t Wayne Rooney or Memphis Depay who took over the reins but it was Jesse Lingard, the 22-year-old English midfielder who was pulling the right strings with his performance against CSKA. Lingard was the best midfielder that United had, he easily outshone Anthony Martial, who was played in the more advanced role that was being harped about and Wayne Rooney did get that all important goal that almost guarantees Manchester United progression into the next round but should the 22-year-old Lingard get more games for Manchester United?
Talented and it is his time to shine
It was amusing to read a fellow blog about Manchester United’s performance in the Champions League, while Chris Smalling obviously was lauded for yet another excellent display, the fact that Lingard was not getting games could have been due to his name not being Lingardinho or Julio, it might have been a statement made to get a few chuckles thrown in but certainly it did make a little bit of sense.
Jesse Lingard has made five appearances for Manchester United this season and certainly looks a much better player at the moment than the much hyped Memphis Depay. The Dutch youngster did look brilliant in his first few games for Manchester United but slowly his form has faded away and he doesn’t look like the player that can light up Old Trafford when they need him the most.
A player who can run about and cause problems to the opposition is what this Manchester United team need and Lingard did that a lot in the game against CSKA, he was the one who provided the assist to Rooney, who got the only goal of the game. Louis van Gaal cannot drop Wayne Rooney, especially now after the goal, even though the English striker has not been in the best of form this season.
He needs to play Juan Mata in the team as well with Martial either playing the number nine or ten role that leaves one position out for someone who can provide that killer ball but also run with the ball when needed. Jesse Lingard is that man, he might not have the experience of playing for big teams, he has been on loan for a number of years at clubs such as Derby, Birmingham and Brighton & Hove Albion, none of them are Premier League teams but with some impressive performances this season and him looking like a bright spark, Lingard could well get a few more games for Manchester United and continue his progression into a more complete player.