Jesse Lingard signed a new deal with Manchester United before heading out on loan to Derby County in the January transfer window in a move that could really help prove he deserves a chance in Red Devils squad next season.
After Steve McClaren’s side lost Jordon Ibe to Liverpool at the beginning of January, the Manchester United prospect was brought in to replace the influential Liverpool talent at East Midlands club. He now has the chance to out-perform him in order to prove his own Premier League credentials.
Ibe, who produced five goals and one assist in 20 appearances for the Rams, was an exciting player that could provide the spark for match-winning moments. Equally, while on loan at Birmingham and Brighton last season, Lingard was able to produce the same quality and have the same effect.
The decision by McClaren, to replace Ibe with Lingard, seems a very shrewd and sensible move. However, Lingard should be the one relishing the prospect even more.
Ibe has been able to set a marker with the East Midland’s club, one that has seen him play a big part in getting Derby towards the summit of the Championship table. Although he was a match-winner on his day, he also had a lot of games where he frustrated Rams fans and didn’t see much football past the 60 minute mark as McClaren opted to bring him off.
If Lingard can produce the same game-winning form, but add an extra level of consistency and productivity, then he will have proven himself to be at a standard where he could easily cut his cloth in the Premier League.
The Liverpool winger was called back by Brendan Rodgers to play in the Premier League due to his form at Derby, so if the former Leicester City loan star can produce the same form or better then surely the result will be the same – Premier League football.