Jesse Lingard will do whatever it takes to keep his place in the Manchester United team, according to England Under-21 manager Gareth Southgate.
The 22-year-old scored his first goal for Louis van Gaal’s side in Saturday’s 2-0 Premier League win over West Brom and has kept big-money signing Memphis Depay out of the starting XI for the last two games.
Southgate has regularly worked with Lingard in England’s youth set up and gave his view on the winger’s rapid rise at club level, saying his attitude was ideally suited to the demands of a manager like Van Gaal.
He said: “I am amazed they were not inundated with more bids to prise him away in the summer, especially having played as well as he did in the [Under-21] Euros.
“He has got the shirt at the moment and knowing him he will do whatever it takes to hold onto it. He is at a club where you know you have to perform every week but over the years that is how the youngsters there have been raised.
“They know they are going to have to perform in front of 70,000 people and that brings expectations.
“We are not surprised [by his form] because we have liked him from the off. Physically he has been a late developer and we think there is still some physical growth to come.
“But he is an intelligent footballer and he will carry out the role he is asked to do, which I think the manager there will quite like.”
Van Gaal said after the West Brom victory he felt it was still “far too early” for Lingard to be considered for Roy Hodgson’s full England squad.