Paul Scholes believes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has already made his mind up that Jesse Lingard’s long-term future is away from Manchester United.
Lingard has struggled to produce his best form of late but was handed a rare start during the club’s 2-1 victory over LASK in the Europa League on Wednesday night, the midfielder netting for the second successive game as Manchester United booked their place in the quarter-finals with a 7-1 aggregate win.
The England international has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford after struggling for regular first-team football and Scholes believes an exit is likely, suggesting Solskjaer’s substitution of the player in mid-week – despite an encouraging performance – is an indication he does not feature in his future plans.
“He is capable of more than he’s showing at United,” said Scholes on BT Sport.
“When he’s playing well he has something to offer but lately he has not been good enough. Is he a starting XI player if you’re going to win the league and big trophies at Manchester United? I’m not sure.
“It was a good chance for him to play 90 minutes, but when Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer] took him off it is a sign Ole is thinking of moving him on.”
Scholes believes that the 27-year-old should consider a summer exit after becoming just a ‘squad player’ under Solskjaer this season, admitting the midfielder needs a regular run of games if he is to rediscover his best form during what is the ‘peak’ years of his career.
— Jesse Lingard (@JesseLingard) August 5, 2020
“I know what Jesse is capable of, I grew up with him, played with him, coached him in the reserves, but he has just become a squad player,” added Scholes.
“He should be at the peak of his career and does he only want to play 10/15/20 games?
“Jesse is a good lad, he just needs a run of games but I don’t think he will get that at Manchester United, maybe at a mid-table team like an Everton or West Ham.”
Lingard recently spoke of the struggles which have hindered his form this season, the midfielder opening up on the off-field problems and family issues which have contributed towards his difficult campaign.
The midfielder looked frustrated at being taken off after a promising performance against LASK, though the star insists he respects the manager’s decision despite admitting his disappointment at being withdrawn.
“I was enjoying the game. I enjoy football and felt I could have scored more, but it’s the manager’s decision and I’ll stand by that,” Lingard told the broadcaster after the game.
“When you’re in the right mental state football takes your mind off everything. I love football and enjoy football. Man United’s in my blood and I love playing for the club.”