Former Manchester United midfielder and current coach Michael Carrick has heaped praise on the club’s England forward, Jesse Lingard. The Warrington-born player 25-year old, who is coming off the back of his most prolific season in a red shirt, has enhanced his reputation with a starring role in Gareth Southgate’s side during this summer’s World Cup in Russia. Indeed, his penchant for spectacular goals was on full show after a wonderful long-range effort in England’s 6-1 demolition against Panama.
The notion that Lingard would succeed as a United player was far from certain, however. After loan spells at Derby County, Birmingham City and Brighton and Hove Albion, it wasn’t until Louis van Gaal’s second season in charge during 2015/16 that Lingard was able to break into the first team.
“I remember watching Jesse over on the back pitches (at Carrington) when he was a young lad. He must have been 15 and I was seeing this tiny little kid running around. You could see then the ability he had – his movement, awareness and all that sort of stuff,” said Carrick in quotes carried by Manutd.com.
“It was just about his physicality and giving him time to develop. You can’t give enough credit to the staff behind the scenes for letting him take his own time to develop and nurturing him in different ways. Now, obviously we’re getting the rewards from that. He had a great season [in 2017/18], scoring a lot of goals and he is now a big player for us.”
“He senses where the space is and how to use it. I wouldn’t necessarily say he’s a dribbler with skills and tricks but he’s dynamic. How he plays, he is unique in some ways. You don’t see so much of that in the game as everyone wants to get on the ball and do something on the ball. Off the ball, he’s very effective.”