Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has discussed the qualities of Jesse Lingard following the midfielder’s ‘ups and downs’ in recent months.
Lingard has become an increasingly maligned figure over the past year, the midfielder suffering a drop in form that saw him fail to register a single Premier League goal or assist throughout 2019.
The 27-year-old’s struggles have seen him lose his place in the England squad, whilst there has been speculation linking him with a move away from Manchester United, reports that have only intensified following his decision to link up with controversial super-agent Mino Raiola.
Lingard’s usage of social media has also been questioned on several occasions, with the player having been warned to curb his activity away from the field as he bids to revive his footballing fortunes.
Despite his indifferent form, Solskjaer has defended Lingard, pointing to his performances in United’s recent victories over Tottenham and Manchester City as evidence of the energetic qualities the academy graduate can bring to the side.
“Jesse has had ups and downs as I’ve spoken about before,” Solskjaer said at a press conference ahead of the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg against City.
“The games against City and Spurs, they’re two examples of how important he can be for us in different games.
“Of course we want him back, scoring goals, making assists. There’s no one who runs as much as Jesse. He’s great in pressing, he’s a lively, bubbly character.
“You don’t see as much in the social media as you used to with Jesse, he’s got his head down and working hard. I’ve known him for many years, he’s getting back to the Jesse I knew.”
United face City on Tuesday in the first leg of their semi-final before facing Norwich at the weekend.
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