Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has praised Jesse Lingard following the midfielder’s return to form in recent weeks.
The England international has struggled in recent months and has lost his place for club and country as a result, but impressed once again in this weekend’s 2-1 victory over Manchester City at the Etihad with a typically industrious derby day display.
Lingard’s performance came after he played a key role in the midweek win against Tottenham at Old Trafford, whilst he also scored his first goal in 10 months when captaining the side for the recent Europa League clash with Astana.
Solskjaer has now revealed that the 26-year-old has overcome issues both on and off the pitch in recent months, admitting Lingard’s resurgence is a welcome boost to his side’s plans.
“Every one of us have things to deal with on the pitch and off the pitch and what he has had to deal with, that will be between us,” the Manchester United boss said in his post-match press conference. “It’s great to see him back.
“He’s Man United through and through. He’s a Red, he’s got a great attitude and a great work rate.”
Lingard has attracted fierce criticism in recent months, the midfielder’s often ill-advised use of social media and involvement with his own clothing brand having given ammunition to his detractors.
Solskjaer has launched a defence of the often much-maligned academy graduate, admitting it is good to see Lingard ‘back to his old self’.
“You can criticise anyone about anything, that’s the privilege some people think they have,” Solskjaer continued. “For me as a manager, I have to look after these boys in the good and the bad times.
“It’s great to work with him. I had him in the reserves, I gave him his debut in the reserves against Burnley. It’s good to see him back to his old self.”
United’s derby victory saw them move up to fifth in the Premier League, with their final Europa League group game up next on Thursday evening against AZ Alkmaar.