Is there something Jesse Lingard can’t do right now?
West Ham’s loan ace propels them into the Champions League, as it stands, with the club occupying fourth place in the Premier League with seven games to go.
His scandalous run at Claret and Blue saw him go from forgotten man to player of the season and return as part of the England European Championship final squad as well.
In nine games for West Ham, Lingard has scored eight goals and managed three assists, dazzling both with his cruelty in the final third, but also with his overall performances.
This is arguably the biggest loan signing the Premier League has ever seen and it could get even better if this top four arrival comes true – with a Champions League spot potentially earning West Ham over 50 million pounds sterling.
Lingard is not only in the right place at the right time, he is making a significant contribution to the Hammers’ preparation, and manager David Moyes will be delighted with how he has fitted in at London Stadium.
Premier League loan stars
Five aces who played in Premier League loan spells
Jurgen Klinsmann (Sampdoria at Tottenham – 1998)
As Spurs struggled and feared relegation, the German striker returned to White Hart Lane and inspired them to survive with nine goals in 15 matches.
Daniel Sturridge (Chelsea at Bolton – 2011)
Trying to break into the Blues squad was tough, but a spell with the Trotters in 2011 saw him score eight times in 12 games.
Romelu Lukaku (Chelsea at West Brom – 2012/13)
The Belgian was so good with the Baggies that he almost sent them back to Europe. He has scored 17 league goals in 35 appearances, which allowed them to finish eighth – although they were as high as third after 13 appearances.
Ivan Campo (Real Madrid v Bolton 2002/03)
The Spaniard’s form was so good after signing for Bolton that he decided to join the club permanently rather than fight for a first-team place with Los Blancos. He went on to make 172 league appearances for the club.
Christophe Dugarry (Bordeaux to Birmingham – 2002/03)
He’s not often a World Cup winner and a former Barcelona ace appears at St Andrews. The French striker did it and saved them from relegation.
You can see how much his teammates love him too, with Declan Rice celebrating his goals in the stands on Sunday and many of them rushing to congratulate the 28-year-old on social media and in media interviews.
Lingard’s solo astonishment against Wolves earlier this month was even compared to Diego Maradona by talkSPORT host Darren Gough.
At this rate, his form is likely to make him a real contender for Player of the Year.
Some bookies are already giving him more luck than Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah, who has 19 goals for the Reds this season.
Although he may have to move to get the award ahead of Bruno Fernandes, Harry Kane, Ruben Dias and other Man City stars.
PFA Player of the Year odds
Paddy Power Odds April 12
- Bruno Fernandes – 10/11
- Ruben Dias – 11/4
- Harry Kane – 4/1
- Ilkay Gundogan – 10/1
- Jack Grealish – 10/1
- Kevin De Bruyne – 1/12
- Phil Foden – 17/1
- Jesse Lingard – 20/1
Lingard in his nine games averages more shots per game (2.9) than he has ever had at United, while also completing more dribbles per game (1.2) than he could. before.
It just shows what can happen when talented players build the game around them.
Its form is such that its future is now completely in limbo – even more than it was before.
A good loan spell would probably have just ensured that he would leave Manchester United and seal a move to West Ham, or some other interested party.
Now, however, some are wondering whether United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should retain his services and reinstate him in the squad, although club legend Andy Cole has advised both sides against it.
“Now Manchester United have a decision to make,” Cole told The Sunday Session. “Take it back or sell it in the summer for a little more money than expected?”
“I think if I was Manchester United I would move him. And if I were Jesse, I would like to go play games. Absolutely.”
Lingard’s lack of playing time for United in recent seasons has seen him overlooked by England for two years.
Now, although he’s firmly back on Gareth Southgate’s radar and was called back to his last Three Lions squad in March.
Southgate was present at the London Stadium on Sunday to watch Lingard and James Maddison, and he is now almost certainly ahead of the Leicester City man, who was absent after breaking Covid protocols.
Southgate advised Lingard on his move to West Ham and the pair clearly have a connection after the 2018 World Cup, when he played a key role in England’s race to the semi-finals.
Ex-West Ham and Three Lions ace Trevor Sinclair certainly expects him to be selected for the Euro this summer.
“He’s been brilliant for West Ham,” he cooed.
“His fitness could really be the key to Gareth’s decision. When playing against international teams it’s good for everyone to get on their feet and play some nice football, but you have to do a lot of selfless and upsetting runs behind the defenses and the lines. This is what breaks and disorganizes the defenses.
“He has that in abundance and Gareth knows it and will think he could be a key player for England.”
From forgotten man to one of the fittest players in Europe, it was a turnaround for Lingard.
Qualifying for the Champions League and a place in the English Euro team could well be waiting for you …