Rio Ferdinand claims Jesse Lingard could ‘play in any top team’ and explains why he gets ‘judged’

Lingard has been resurgent at West Ham (Picture: Getty Images)

Rio Ferdinand says Manchester United loanee Jesse Lingard could play for any big team as he is an ‘intelligent’ footballer and gets ‘judged’ based on his antics on social media, rather than just his ability.

The 28-year-old is thriving on loan at West Ham this season after struggling to get regular game time at Old Trafford under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Since he moved to the London Stadium in the January transfer window, Lingard has registered five goals and three assists in seven Premier League games, including a stunning strike in the Hammers’ 3-3 draw with Arsenal on Sunday.

The midfielder was struggling for game time at United

The midfielder was struggling for game time at United (Picture: Getty Images)

The midfielder’s good form has earned him back his place in the England squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against San Marino, Albania and Poland.

Lingard has faced criticism in the past for his social media posts, including a controversial Snapchat video in June 2019 which reportedly left Solskjaer fuming.

United legend Ferdinand has never been in any doubt about Lingard’s ability and feels he has been ‘judged’ for his use of social media in the past.

‘Jesse Lingard since he’s gone in there [at West Ham], what he’s done has been amazing,’ Ferdinand told Vibe with FIVE.

‘But that’s no surprise to me, I’ve always said it, I’ve argued with pundit after pundit, on air, off air, that Jesse Lingard could play in any top team because he’s an intelligent footballer, he can play off one touch or two touch. 

‘He gets judged on his antics on social media, that’s what he gets judged on.

‘Some people it rubs them up the wrong way and they don’t like him because of it and some people, a lot of the younger generation love it. 

‘But if you’re looking at him as just a cold footballer, from that area alone, anyone who knows football has surely got to see that the kid’s got a talent.

‘Knows how to play, knows how to get into spaces where he can’t be marked, receive the ball on the back foot, can run beyond teams.

‘He’s athletic enough as well and when he gets in, the kid can finish.

‘He’s having a great season since he’s gone to West Ham.’

MORE : Paul Merson questions Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s decision not to start Bruno Fernandes in Manchester United’s FA Cup exit to Leicester

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