There are good debuts, there are great debuts, and then there is what happened to Jesse Lingard earlier today.
The Manchester United player joined Birmingham City on loan on Thursday. And two days later, he is already close to legendary status after his four goals single-handedly saw off Sheffield Wednesday in a 4-1 win.
The 20-year-old midfielder was arguably United’s most impressive performer during their pre-season tour, scoring wonder-goals as if he had been doing it all his life. But this afternoon he announced himself to the Championship – and his new fans – with a performance that can only be described as spectacular.
A 13-minute hat-trick is impressive by anyone’s standards. That he later added a fourth is the icing on one impressive cake.
When he was substituted after 71 minutes, you can imagine the collective sigh of relief from the Wednesday players torn apart by his directness and, perhaps most importantly, his fearlessness.
Given his performances in pre-season – and the ongoing frustration felt by United fans towards both Nani and Ashley Young – there will be more than a few this evening wondering why David Moyes loaned him out in the first place.
For Birmingham fans on the other hand, they will simply be rubbing their eyes in disbelief, and their hands in hope for the matches to come.
Signed on an initial one month deal, surely Lee Clark is already fine-tuning his email to Moyes requesting an extension…say…for the whole season?
Lingard’s performance today got the Twittersphere talking, with both United and Birmingham fans singing his praises.
In the 71 minutes he was on the pitch, Lingard was accurate with 89% of his passes, scoring from four of his five shots and having 31 touches in total.
Following his outstanding performance, below are just a few of the tweets he inspired.
Jesse lingard 4 goals on his debut. Cant wait to see him play for united. #GGMU— ishaan tibrewal (@ishaanunited) September 21, 2013
Henriquez, Macheda and Lingard all scored for their loan clubs today— Ian Collins (@IanC_RFFH) September 21, 2013
Why have we loaned out Nick Powell and Jesse Lingard? Surely they could have a part to play? #MUFC— andy (@andy_robinson10) September 21, 2013
Jesse Lingard with 4 today? Get him back home Moyesy! Now!!!!! :) #MUFC— Hayley Smythe (@CurleyWurleyHay) September 21, 2013
As Lingard and Januzaj steals the show these days, I'm happy that #mufc don't sign many faces this summer. young lads deserves opportunity— Junaedi Uko (@juneth_7) September 21, 2013
That's 3 points I was not expecting. Keep Lingard till the end of the season please. #BCFC— Martin (@themartinclarke) September 21, 2013
Fair play too lee clark for working so hard to get jesse lingard what a gem!!— Chris Hart (@Chris96bcfc) September 21, 2013
Lingard had a brilliant debut, but don't get ahead of yourselves. He's played one game!— Lee Collier (@LeeCee91) September 21, 2013
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