How Jesse Lingard Has Made The Most Of Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s Absence At Manchester United
Manchester United have made a strong start to the season so far but they did endure a couple of hiccups along the way. They lost against the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea and Huddersfield Town but they have been relatively strong on most occasions. They are sitting comfortably at 2nd place and are 11 points behind champions-elect Manchester City. The Red Devils have now won 6 of their last 7 league games and do not have much to worry about. Yet, there are a lot of concerns they need to iron out as the January window comes up.
The attack is one area Jose Mourinho desperately needs to work on. Most of their players have rendered mediocre results and the absence of Paul Pogba has cost United. However, there is one player who is continuing to do his job diligently, even if the fans have mixed opinions about his influence.
Jesse Lingard came into the team after Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s lacklustre performances and he seems to have cemented a spot for himself in the first-team. The youngster made his first start this season against Huddersfield but unfortunately, they were defeated and Lingard came under the scanner for his lack of impact.
However, the player chose to rise above that and he has put up solid performances in his last five matches. He is scoring goals, he is creating opportunities and he truly appears to be giving it his all. That’s more than what could be said for Mkhitaryan. So in that sense itself, the 25-year-old is doing a lot better than the Armenian.
A lot of people say a lot of things about Mourinho but one must admit that he is giving a lot of chances to youngsters at Old Trafford and is truly helping them develop. The likes of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Scott McTominay have all thrived under him and now Lingard is the latest name to be added to that list.
When one compares his performance against Huddersfield to his most recent one, there are a lot of improvements. For example, his finishing seems more refined and he has developed confidence in his game which is benefiting him and the club.
Yet, more often than not, he ends up becoming the scapegoat every time something goes wrong. When United lost in the Manchester derby, Lingard was criticised even though he did his duty quite well. The fact that nothing came out of it is a different topic but that does not subdue his efforts. It remains to be seen how Mourinho fares in the upcoming transfer window and whether or not Lingard will be used regularly until the end of the season. However, given a chance, the player is likely to solidify his grasp over a spot in the starting XI.