Lingard found the back of the net and provided an assist in West Ham’s 3-2 win over Wolves on Monday night – a result that saw David Moyes’s side climb into the top-four with eight games to go.
The Manchester United loanee has been in sensational form since agreeing a temporary move to east London in January, scoring six goals in eight Premier League appearances.
His form earned him a recall to Gareth Southgate’s England squad last month and he featured in all three World Cup qualifiers against San Marino, Albania and Poland.
The impressive nature of his performances has led to questions over whether the 28-year-old could force his way back into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s plans next season.
Neville, the former United right-back, feels that he would be welcomed back to Old Trafford but only as a bit-part player.
Given his playing style and the lack of quality at United compared to years gone by, Neville says Lingard is open to extra criticism when playing for the club – even if in reality he performs a very similar role to the likes of Ji-Sung Park during his playing days.
But while there’s ‘no doubt’ in Neville’s mind he would be a good squad player to have, he thinks Lingard should move on if he does want to play regularly.
‘He’s good out of possession, good in possession and at Manchester United because there’s that expectation of what you need to be a Manchester United wide player or a midfielder, he’s always going to get a difficult press.
‘But if he was playing in a world class team, let’s say for instance Ji-Sung Park 10 years ago.
‘Ji-Sung Park was a fantastic player but there were players like that who weren’t quite at the levels of say Rooney or Ronaldo but if he was playing alongside them he was doing a supplementary role, people would say he’s perfect for this squad.
‘The problem is he’s not playing for teams at United that have been as good so he gets a little bit of stick.
‘He’s a really good player, he’s had a great career and to be fair United have sent him out to West Ham to boost his career, maybe with the thought of increasing his pricetag but they might be thinking actually we might want him back, he could be a real help to us.’
Asked if he would take him back, Neville replied: ‘It depends on what grounds.
‘If Jesse wants to play – he does want to play, you can see – then he needs to leave.
‘He’s not going to play every single week I suspect in a Manchester United team that’s trying to be second and first in the league.
‘But if he’s willing to go back there and compete and be a player – Daniel James has come in over the last few weeks but then he’s out of the team again – and bet that type of player, be in and out then there’s no doubt he can play for Manchester United.
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