Jesse Lingard has revealed the advice he received from Gareth Southgate ahead of his move to West Ham, following his recall into the England squad this month.
Lingard has been named in the England squad for fixtures against San Marino, Albania and Poland later this month, having impressed since joining West Ham on loan in the January transfer window.
The winter window arrival has made an immediate impact for the high-flying Hammers, scoring five goals and providing two assists in just seven Premier League appearances.
The midfielder had endured a frustrating period on the sidelines at Manchester United, failing to make a single league appearance this season, whilst his struggles over the past 18 months had seen the 28-year-old lose his place at international level.
Lingard formed part of the side which reached the semi-finals of the World Cup in 2018 and has revealed how England manager Southgate advised him to remain in the Premier League when searching for first-team football.
“He’s shown a lot of support and belief in me, he gave me my England debut, which I’m proud of,” Lingard told talkSPORT.
“I still kept in contact with him even though I wasn’t playing, just to get his advice on what I should do.
“It was just about the right move, whether it was going out to Europe or staying in the Premier League.
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“He said, ‘If I was you, I would stay in the Premier League’. After that, it was about finding a Premier League side and West Ham fitted in perfectly.”
Lingard has not featured for the Three Lions since the 2019 Nations League finals and admits he was delighted to receive the call up to the side, returning to the fold after an impressive run of form at the London Stadium in recent weeks.
“It was amazing, even for my family. It was emotional and it’s been a long time coming,” Lingard said of his recall.
“I’ve had to work hard and graft, and I still believe in myself to play at the highest level. If you work hard, you get the rewards in the end.
“Things happen off the pitch which can affect your performances, when I went on loan to West Ham I had a load of targets written down, and I’ve already hit certain ones already.
“It’s just about having the right mindset and focus.”