Solskjaer makes bold Lingard claim following his dream West Ham debut

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has backed Jesse Lingard to push for an England place after just one game of his West Ham loan.

The midfielder left Manchester United in January and headed to London for the remainder of the season.

Minutes were hard to come by at Old Trafford and the player will now assist in the Hammers' push for a European place.

Lingard got off to the best possible start with two goals on his debut in a 3-1 win on the road at Aston Villa.

The 28-year-old was part of Gareth Southgate's squad that made it to the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup.

Since then though his dip in form has seen him fall out of favour, both with England and at United.

But Solskjaer is confident that Lingard can seize his opportunity and again have an influence on the international stage. 

“I’m so happy for Jesse,” he told reporters. “When we let him out, we felt we had to do the right thing by Jesse because he has been so professional, so good around the place, working really hard.

“He is always a bright character around the place. The times when I have not even had him in the squad, it has been difficult.

“But the conversations I have had with him have always been: ‘Be ready for when you get the chance. If it’s not here, you will definitely find it somewhere else’.”

“He has kept going and you can see his fitness. He is as fit as a fiddle. I am delighted for him.

"Hopefully he can push on and maybe give Gareth a challenge when he has to pick the squad for the Euros.”

Those thoughts have been echoed by Lingard's current boss David Moyes, who has West Ham sat in fifth position.

“If he keeps that form up then it might be Gareth coming knocking again,” he said.    

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