Manchester United's Jesse Lingard hails fans and two former teammates after breaking into the first-team

Old Trafford 2

The 22-year-old has started to establish himself as an important member of Louis van Gaal's side.

Manchester United winger Jesse Lingard has hailed the club's supporters, as well as two former teammates, after establishing himself in Louis van Gaal's side this season, the Daily Star report.

"To see the likes of Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley come though gave me confidence that I can do it as well," he said.

"When you step on the pitch the fans are behind you straight away; even if you make a mistake, they are still there.

"I have always been a Red throughout my career and it’s an unbelievable thing to finally to do it for the first team," he added.

The 22-year-old had previously struggled to break through into the first-team, and spent much of the last few years out on loan with four different Championship sides, one such spell - with Birmingham City - saw the winger bag a hat-trick on his debut.

However, with a lack of genuine wide-men in the United squad, Lingard has finally received his chance to prove that he can deal with the step-up to the sharp end of the Premier League

And he has largely taken that opportunity by putting in a string of exciting performances. His first goal for the Red Devils came in the recent victory over West Bromwich Albion.

That goal obviously helped put him in Roy Hodgson's thoughts, as when teammate Michael Carrick and Leicester City's Jamie Vardy were forced to withdraw from the England squad ahead of the friendly with France, it was Lingard that was called up as a replacement. 

After following Cleverley and Welbeck into the United side, fans may well be hoping that he doesn't continue to follow in their footsteps, and instead remains at Old Trafford for the best days of his career.

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch