Player Profile - Jesse Lingard

Manchester United’s Latest Rising Star 

Personal information
Full name: Jesse Ellis Lingard
Date of birth: 15 December 1992 
Age: 23 
Place of birth: Warrington, England
Height: 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in) 
Playing position: Winger

Club information
Current team: Manchester United
Number: 35

Youth career
Manchester United

Senior career
2011– Manchester United 21 Appearances,  4 goals
2012–2013 → Leicester City (loan) 5 Appearances,  0 goals
2013–2014 → Birmingham City (loan) 13 Appearances,  6 goals 
2014 → Brighton & Hove Albion (loan) 17 Appearances,  4 goals
2015 → Derby County (loan) 15 Appearances,  2 goals 

National career
2008: England U17 3 Appearances, 0 goals
2013–2015 England U21 11 Appearances, 0 goals
2015 – England 1 Appearance, 0 goals  

Jesse Lingard is determined to maintain his recent goalscoring displays for Manchester United - with manager Louis van Gaal willing him to do so too. Lingard is undoubtedly Manchester United’s future first team prospect and arguably one of the best young talents in the Red Devil’s squad. With 20 appearances until for Man United, the young Englishman has been proving his worth. 

Warrington-born Lingard has progressed through the ranks with United after being treated patiently by the coaches, and made his senior debut in the opening game of the 2014/15 season against Swansea City. Despite being included in the matchday squad under David Moyes, it was Louis van Gaal who would hand the sprightly prospect his bow, but sadly it was an appearance that would be cut short by injury after just 24 minutes after a bright opening in the unfamiliar role of wing-back. Undeterred, Jesse recovered from the setback to sign on loan for Derby County in the February of 2015. The youngster made 15 appearances for the Rams, scoring twice as he helped Steve McClaren’s men to the top of the Championship by early March. A late-season slump would ultimately derail their campaign, however, as Derby missed out on a place in the play-offs by a single point. Following the completion of his loan spell at Pride Park, Lingard once again reiterated his desire to forge a way into Louis van Gaal’s XI after being one of the most impressive performers for England's Under-21s in the European Championship finals, scoring a superb winner against Sweden.

A clever and assured finisher, he is capable of mixing the spectacular finish with clinical, well-placed shots, he causes problems for defenders with his direct running. A hard worker who always tracks back for the team, he made an impression during the 2012 DHL tour and was on the bench for the Carling Cup ties against Newcastle and Chelsea. Later in the year, he joined Leicester on loan to obtain some first-team experience but returned to United in time to help Warren Joyce's side win more silverware. Often asked to provide some creative flair with his dribbling skills, he was leading scorer on the 2013 tour and his performances prompted a loan move to Birmingham City. He made an incredible instant impression with four goals against Sheffield Wednesday.  A headed goal for the Midlanders followed and he is proved his worth for Lee Clark's side before enjoying another successful loan stay with Brighton & Hove Albion, helping the Seagulls reach the Championship play-offs as a key figure in their attack. After another temporary switch, with Derby, last term. 

As well as making more tackles than any of his team-mates, it's worth noting that there is a responsible element to Lingard's game too. He has held his position and keeps the ball well. In fact, he currently has the best passing accuracy of any United player in the final third of the pitch. That's vital if he is to flourish in a Van Gaal team.  At 22-years-old it’s been a slow and steady rise to the first-team at Old Trafford for Lingard. Via brief trips to Leicester, Birmingham, Brighton and Derby, he’s been learning his trade at Championship level gathering invaluable experience. Now, and about time too, Lingard is showing the potential to be a mainstay in the United set-up. With the summer additions of Memphis Depay and Anthony Martial to the United squad, you could’ve been forgiven for thinking that Lingard wasn’t in Van Gaal’s thoughts. But now, and deservedly so, it’s Lingard keeping £25 million Depay out of the team.  His style is very much that of a young man playing for the team he’s grown up to support. Enthusiastic, raw, keen to learn, throw himself into tackles and just play football in the way he’s been taught; with a direct and attacking approach.
Despite Van Gaal’s claims that he’s not quite quick enough to be a winger, it’s clear that against the right opposition and with more game time under his belt, Lingard has the tools to shine in front of the Stretford End.