Indication 21-year-old United player is first team prospect or on the move?

Manchester United's Jesse Lingard was missing in action as United dominated a young Norwich side in their opening Under-21 Premier League match.

The future of talented midfielder Jesse Lingard is up in the air after the talented 21-year-old was missing in action against Norwich as Manchester United's Under-21 side opened their campaign with an impressive 3-0 win.

Lingard, who enjoyed spells at Birmingham City and Brighton and Hove Albion, has been involved in United's pre-season tour and was thought to have caught the attention of new United manager Louis van Gaal.

The attacking midfielder scored an impressive nine goals in 33 appearances at Championship level last season and was thought to be an outside bet for a first-team place at Old Trafford this season.

But does his exclusion from the Under-21 side indicate he could be set for a first-team role at United under van Gaal's management, or is the youngster set for another loan move?

The explosive young star has already competed and proven himself in the Championship with two sides and has shown the ability that deserves to be playing in the Premier League. Nevertheless, the competition for places at United makes regular first team football for the youngster seemingly unlikely at this stage.

United face a difficult start to their season in terms of injuries with Danny Welbeck and Robin van Persie said to be unavailable, and Lingard may prove to be an ideal short-term option for the title challengers. However, at this age, should United look to move Lingard on loan once more in order for him to develop further into a more credible first-team option?

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