Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard has reminded boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer of his quality by scoring in a secret friendly held at Old Trafford. A team of Red Devils stars defeated Burnley 3-1 following the club’s Premier League opening day demolition of Burnley.
Lingard was not available for selection for the thumping of rivals Leeds after testing positive for COVID-19 before the start of the campaign.
The 28-year-old has an uncertain future at Old Trafford after being pushed down the pecking order by a succession of attacking arrivals. The signing of Jadon Sancho is likely to have presented a further obstacle into Solskjaer’s plans.
A frustrating start to last season prompted Lingard to seek regular football, leading to a loan at West Ham. A period of nine goals and five assists in 16 appearances for the Hammers was a reminder of his capabilities.
West Ham boss David Moyes has expressed an interest in taking Lingard back to London Stadium but a transfer has not materialised.
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Solskjaer is seemingly trying to build up his whole squad’s fitness, with new signing Sancho among the starters for the game.
The winger arrived from Borussia Dortmund in a huge £73m deal but has been limited to just 20 minutes of football in the clash with rivals Leeds.
Sancho joined up with his new team-mates late having been granted an extended break following his participation with England at Euro 2020.
Defender Harry Maguire is another who did not have a full pre-season due to his heroics with the Three Lions. The centre-back was also on the scoresheet against Burnley.
Midfielder Fred, who scored against Leeds, added another goal to his impressive start to the season.
Man Utd fan account Poros Halang appeared to be at the game and shared the full line-up, excluding a goalkeeper.
Diogo Dalot, Eric Bailly, Maguire and Brandon Williams made up the back four. Donny van De Beek and Nemanja Matic played just in front.
Lingard and Sancho played in attacking midfield roles alongside Juan Mata. Martial was the lone striker.
Versatile defender Williams has been linked with a loan move to Norwich City.
The Athletic have reported that Williams will join the newly promoted side on a season-long loan.
However, that did not prevent the 20-year-old from taking part in the friendly against Burnley.
United’s 5-1 victory over Leeds marked an excellent start to their Premier League title bid.
A Bruno Fernandes hat-trick was added to by goals from Mason Greenwood and Fred.