Jesse Lingard - A false dawn or a breakthrough moment at Manchester United?

Old Trafford Statues

Talented youngster Jesse Lingard scored the first goal of the David Moyes reign at Manchester United in their pre-season friendly at the weekend.

Wherever Jesse Lingard goes from here, his name will be recounted as that of the player who scored the first goal of David Moyes' tenure as Manchester United manager.

He bagged two in a 5-1 friendly win over an Australian All Stars XI at the weekend, a timely reminder of his burgeoning talent.

Lingard can in many ways count himself fortunate to even be on tour. United took a thin squad of players with them to the southern hemisphere, and the recent international involvement of Javier Hernandez, Angelo Henriquez and Larnell Cole has opened the door for him, while Federico Macheda has simply been left at home.

Lingard hails from Warrington, Manchester, and at 20-years-old realises now is the time to begin kicking on in his career.

He can play on either wing, behind the frontman, or even as an auxilary striker. His versatility in attacking areas brings any manager key options, and this can only help him in attempting to make the breakthrough at a club like United where competition is immensely tough.

He had a short loan at Leicester last season, but it was relatively fruitless, five substitute appearances combining for a total time of 81 minutes on the pitch.

Already Lingard is talking about avoiding another loan, and making it at United outright. 

He told the Manchester Evening News: "Hopefully I can skip the loan stage this time and break straight through."

He certainly will have had his new manager sitting up and taking notice, and will be keen to kick on in United's third pre-season game, this time in Japan on Tuesday.

Lingard was part of United's under-21 championship winning side last season, scoring four goals and providing seven assists en route to the title, with strikes against runners-up Tottenham and challengers Arsenal.

Competition is fierce, but Lingard may have earned himself at least a start in the League Cup this Autumn, and convinced manager David Moyes to keep him around.

Whether his brace was the breakthrough and the start of a special season for the youngster, or simply a false dawn, time will tell.

Can Lingard make it at United? What should they do with him this season?

image: © eirikref

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