Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes that Jesse Lingard is back to his best after an up-and-down campaign for the Red Devils.
The 27-year-old played a key role in the Red Devils’ back-to-back wins over Tottenham and Manchester City
Lingard has struggled to make a big impact on the pitch, having tallied just one goal and one assist in 20 total appearances – including just six Premier League starts.
Off the pitch, Lingard has also generated controversy with several questionable social media posts over the years and has also seen his focus on football questioned due to his involvement with his “JLingz'” clothing brand.
But Lingard turned in two of his strongest performances of the season this week, as he started against Tottenham and Manchester City in two wins that look like they could turn Man Utd’s season around.
Solskjaer’s men have jumped up to fifth in the Premier League table and look set to mount a challenge for a top-four spot that appeared unlikely just weeks ago.
The Norwegian admitted he was delighted to see Lingard play a major factor in his side’s two wins this week.
“Every one of us has things to deal with on the pitch and off the pitch and what he has had to deal with, that will be between us,” Solskjaer said. “It’s great to see him back.
“He’s Man United through and through. He’s a Red, he’s got a great attitude and a great work rate.”
Lingard’s dip in form has seen him lose his place with the England squad but his manager is keen to see him through the difficult spell he has experienced.
“You can criticize anyone about anything, that’s the privilege some people think they have,” Solskjaer continued. “For me as a manager, I have to look after these boys in the good and the bad times.
“It’s great to work with him. I had him in the reserves, I gave him his debut in the reserves against Burnley. It’s good to see him back to his old self.”
Man Utd will take on AZ on Thursday in their final group-stage match of the Europa League before they enter a busy festive period domestically.
United will face Everton, Watford, Newcastle, and Burnley in the Premier League before a trip to Arsenal on New Year’s Day.