West Ham v Manchester United, Match in Pictures
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Gary Neville has declared that Manchester United should have sold Jesse Lingard in the summer transfer window in spite of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s desire to keep hold of the midfielder. Lingard has impressed at times for the Red Devils since returning from a successful loan spell at West Ham United last season.
The 28-year-old scored nine goals and registered five assists for the Hammers during his time at the London Stadium.
Lingard was heavily linked with a permanent return to the capital throughout the summer window, but ultimately chose to stay at United in order to fight for his place.
He is yet to establish himself as a sure-fire starter under Solskjaer’s management but has popped up with a handful of vital contributions in recent outings.
The England international scored his side’s fourth goal of the game against Newcastle United earlier this month before dropping a clanger to gift Young Boys a surprise victory in the Champions League last week.
He redeemed himself at the next available opportunity by curling home a last-gasp winner against West Ham on Saturday.
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Neville, who won eight Premier League titles with United during his professional career, has since claimed that Lingard should have left the club over the summer in order to play regular first-team football elsewhere.
“I thought Jesse should have left Manchester United,” he told The Gary Neville Podcast.
“I said that a few weeks ago because I thought that he should play every single week.
“He’s good enough to play football at the top level every single week and he’s going to be living off moments for Manchester United.”
Neville’s view appears to be at odds with Solskjaer’s vision for Lingard, with the United boss previously insisting that he will play a significant role for the club this season.
“I think Jesse’s first priority is to get into our team,” Solskjaer told reporters last month.
“I think whenever your employer is Man United, I think that’s your first priority and always is.
“I think we, together, can have great moments. Of course, as a manager, with players in a squad like I’ve got now, it’s difficult.
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“It’s difficult to say: ‘This weekend you’re not playing.’ Of course, I have to leave players out, never mind from the starting XI but from the squad.
“But they all have to remember and know they’re going to have to play a part if we’re going to be successful.
“Jesse is back to his fitness, he played really well in the behind-closed-doors game [against Burnley] and he’s come back bubbly and in good shape. He’s got a big part to play.”
Lingard is set to receive his first United start of the season on Wednesday when the Red Devils entertain West Ham once again in round three of the Carabao Cup.
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