Jesse Lingard lifts lid on ‘tough period’ that forced Man Utd exit

Lingard had a ‘tough period’ before leaving Manchester United Visionhaus/Getty Images)

Jesse Lingard revealed he felt he ‘deserved to be playing’ for Manchester United in the months that led to his January exit and watched old clips of himself to rediscover his passion for the sport.

After a ‘tough period’ of not being picked by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Lingard left Old Trafford on loan and linked up with former United manager David Moyes at West Ham.

Since arriving at the London Stadium, Lingard has scored five goals and provided two assists in seven Premier League starts – form that earned him a recall to Gareth Southgate’s England squad.

His work away from Manchester United has not gone unnoticed by Solskjaer and club officials, with reports claiming he is set to be offered a new contract upon his return in the summer.

And Lingard said he is pleased that he didn’t ‘give up’ during a ‘difficult’ spell in his career.

‘It was a tough period building up to the loan. I felt like I deserved to be playing for United but obviously I knew in myself I had to go on loan,’ said Lingard.

Jesse Lingard of West Ham United celebrates after scoring their sides first goal during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Arsenal at London Stadium on March 21, 2021 in London, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors.

Lingard has found his best form at West Ham (Picture: Pool/Getty)

‘So there was a range of emotions, I was going through all sorts. So just to get it over the line and sign the papers was a good feeling.

‘I think you just have to believe in yourself and believe in your ability. It would have been quite easy for me to give up and fall off.

‘At the time it was hard. You train all week, building up to the game and then not getting picked is difficult for any player.

‘There was a time in lockdown when I just looked back at some old England games, and games that I played well in for United, just to get the fire in my belly again.

‘Since coming here I’ve had targets written down on a board and until I hit them, I won’t be fulfilled.’

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