Manchester United attacker Jesse Lingard aims to follow in the footsteps of Ryan Giggs and become an Old Trafford great.
Giggs, now assistant manager to Louis van Gaal, enjoyed a hugely successful career at United, winning 13 Premier League titles and the Champions League twice before retiring in May 2014.
Lingard, still seeking to become a first-team regular, has a long way to go if he is to emulate the achievements of the former Wales international, but the 23-year-old at least has a fitting role model.
“Giggs pretty much won everything there is to win in the game. He made over 900 appearances for the club and always stayed loyal to Manchester United, which is really impressive,” Lingard told the club’s website.
“He made his debut at 17 and paved the way for youngsters here, showing what can be achieved. He came through the ranks and I know I always looked up to him. While you appreciate the need to be patient for your chance, you also realise he managed to get a chance at a young age. He obviously had that ability and did very well.
“As soon as he was on the ball, it was very exciting because he was always going to create something. I would like to take some of that into my game.”
According to Lingard, Giggs has served as an important link between the squad and Van Gaal, who succeeded David Moyes last year.
“It’s good that he’s (Giggs) stayed on at the club, obviously,” he said.
“For young players he knows their background more than the manager coming in. So it’s good for him to still be around to look after us lads who want to follow in his footsteps.
“He is always giving advice to all the youngsters and helping us out in any way he can. Whether it’s in training or on matchdays, he always gives you little tips and pointers.
“He has one-on-one chats to see how you’re doing and how you’re coping, stuff like that, and he will always help you out in any way he can.”
Lingard has enjoyed something of a breakthrough season at United this campaign and has made 12 appearances in all competitions under Van Gaal, scoring once.