Jesse Lingard became the latest in a long line of Manchester United youth products to score in England’s top flight as he netted the opener in his side’s 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion on Saturday afternoon.
The twenty-two year old has been patiently waiting for his first-team chance at United having spent the majority of his senior career so far out on loan in spells with Leicester City, Birmingham City, Brighton and Hove Albion and Derby County.
A taste of silverware
His first professional game came for the Foxes in a goalless draw with Bolton Wanderers in November 2012, eighteen months after scoring the opening goal in the first leg of Manchester United’s Youth Cup final success over Sheffield United, where he played alongside Paul Pogba, now a triple league winner with Juventus.
He made his senior debut for his parent club at the beginning of the 2013/14 campaign but lasted just twenty-four minutes in a 2-1 defeat to Swansea City, and that was his only outing for them prior to this season.
However, he has featured in each of Louis van Gaal’s side’s last seven games and his fine finish at the weekend will only aid his chances of holding down a regular first-team spot.
Van Gaal has been full of praise for the Warrington-born winger, though he doesn’t believe he is ready for a senior international call-up, among reports that Roy Hodgson is considering adding him to the squads for the forthcoming friendlies against European Championships holders Spain and Euro 2016 hosts France.
Having won three caps for England’s U17s, Lingard has played eleven times for the U21s, scoring twice.
He was part of the squad that went to the 2015 UEFA European Under-21 Championships in the Czech Republic and netted the only goal in a 1-0 win over Sweden in the group stages of the competition.
Over one hundred products of the Manchester United academy have gone on to become full internationals though if Van Gaal has his way, Lingard will not be joining that list just yet as he is keen for him to concentrate solely on his form for the Red Devils at this moment.
First team regular
He is likely to maintain his place in for United’s trip to United’s trip to Watford a week on Saturday, with summer signing Memphis Depay not having played in the Premier League since the 3-0 defeat to rivals Arsenal over a month ago.
While he is unlikely to win his first senior cap for the Three Lions this calendar year, he has a fighting chance of being part of the squad that goes to next summer’s championships over the Channel.
Will Jesse Lingard be part of England’s Euro 2016 squad?