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Solskjaer praises Lingard’s ‘brilliant’ form during West Ham loan

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has praised the ‘brilliant’ performances of Jesse Lingard since the midfielder’s loan move from Manchester United to West Ham.

Lingard signed for West Ham during the January transfer window following a frustrating 18 months, falling out of favour for both club and country and failing to make a single league appearance for the Red Devils this season.

The 28-year-old has enjoyed arguably the best period of his career since moving to the London Stadium, scoring eight times and providing a further three assists in just nine Premier League appearances.

Lingard’s form saw him recalled into the England squad for March’s World Cup qualifiers after an almost two-year absence from the international side, whilst his performances have raised questions over whether the midfielder has a future upon a potential return to Old Trafford.

West Ham are understood to be desperate to secure him on a permanent basis, whilst his showings have reportedly attracted interest from several leading clubs across Europe.

Solskjaer hinted at a potential return for the loanee and admits he has been delighted to see the star impressing amid regular first-team football, insisting Lingard ‘deserved a change’ to secure regular minutes given his past contributions to the club.

“Jesse has been brilliant since he left,” the Manchester United boss told his pre-match press conference ahead of United’s Europa League quarter-final with Granada.

“Selfishly, we could have kept him here because he always has a part to play. He is fantastic around the place and is Man Utd through and through.

“He deserved a chance to play regular football for what he has done throughout his life for Man Utd and that is why we let him go.

“I hope he goes to the Euros [with England] and has a strong finish to the league. With the form Bruno [Fernandes] has played in, in arguably Jesse’s favourite position, it was a decision we made.

“I’m delighted for Jesse, and just wish him all the best for the rest of the season, until he comes back.”

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