Paul Scholes believes the presence of Bruno Fernandes in Manchester United’s squad means Jesse Lingard struggled to make an impact prior to his loan move to West Ham.
The England international has been in sensational form since making the switch to the London Stadium in January, scoring six goals in eight games, but he had managed just three appearances for the Red Devils in the first half of the season.
Scholes does believe, though, that Lingard has the ability to compete with Fernandes for a place in United’s starting eleven if he opts to stay at Old Trafford next season:
“He’d had a tough time at United and I think that was all from bringing Bruno Fernandes in. They are players in similar positions and you couldn’t argue with what Bruno has done. Jesse needed to play football – he needed a chance- and West Ham gave him that chance…”
“He’s been sensational. For Ole, I think it would be great to have him back to give some competition to Bruno Fernandes. When he isn’t quite doing it we have a player in Jesse Lingard who is capable of reaching the same heights.”
Reports suggest that a number of clubs are after the 28-year-old, including West Ham, Arsenal, Inter Milan, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid.
Despite Scholes remarks, United may well be tempted to sell Lingard, especially as he has just one year remaining on his contract. The fact is that manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is well catered for in the attacking midfield role, with Donny van de Beek also capable of playing in that position.