Since making his loan switch to West Ham from Manchester United, Jesse Lingard has been a standout performer. What exactly has him thriving at the London Stadium?
Few football fans said that the 2019/20 season was a strange one. Playing football behind closed doors was a completely new concept but it has gone on so long we’ve now grown accustomed to it.
The oddity has carried over from last season into this one sadly. The defending champions, Liverpool, are struggling to make it into the top four whereas West Ham United are in a race to secure a Champions League spot for the first time.
Their Champions League hopes were kept alive by Jesse Lingard, who ran the show at the Molineux. Lingard and co were so good on Monday night, they were up by 0-3 before the halftime break.
Although Wolves scared the Hammers by scoring two goals and narrowed down the deficit to one, David Moyes’ side held on to the lead. Jesse Lingard’s inspired performance defined the character of a side that are without Declan Rice for a while.
Ever since his move to London, the attacking midfielder seems to be a different player. He is scoring goals, assisting others too and has also been key when tracking back and helping out in defense.
He has started all eight games for West Ham United since his loan move in January. In the eight Premier League games, the 28-year-old has six goals and three assists to his name. Prior to his transfer to London Stadium, Jesse had only featured in three games for Manchester United across all competitions.
What has changed for Jesse Lingard? How has he undergone such a monumental change after struggling to get game time at Old Trafford?
There are multiple reasons behind it. First and foremost is the removal of the Manchester United badge. We have seen big names coming to Old Trafford and failing to meet expectations.
The passionate fans expect their players to score/assist/defend with full passion and determination. For example, players such as Bruno Fernandes and David de Gea have met these expectations.
Manchester United bogged down Angel di Maria, Falcao and other high-profile players. It was the same for Jesse Lingard.
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If meeting these high demands was one reason, the other is the style of play.
Most of the teams play with a low-block defense against Manchester United whereas, against the Hammers, teams prefer to play on the front foot and attack.
When teams prefer the latter, it is quite easier to shine as a creative midfielder. The fluid football has allowed Lingard to express himself on the pitch with the London outfit.
In one of his best seasons for Manchester United, in 2017/18 under Jose Mourinho, Lingard was used as a super-sub. The player scored eight goals including a banger against Everton at Goodison Park.
David Moyes’ side has eight games to go in the English Premier League. They will look to finish the season on a high and will need Lingard’s fine form to continue for the rest of the season in order to achieve a strong finish to the current campaign.
The Irons are looking to sign him on a permanent basis in the upcoming summer transfer window. It will be one of the biggest heists if West Ham were to secure Champions League football for next season.