Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer drops Jesse Lingard hint ahead of West Ham return
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Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has suggested that Jesse Lingard could start against former loan club West Ham United on Sunday despite making a glaring error in Tuesday evening’s defeat at the hands of Young Boys. The 28-year-old played a dreadful attempted back-pass that inadvertently sent Jordan Siebatcheu through on goal to score the winning goal with just seconds left on the clock.
Lingard was introduced to replace Cristiano Ronaldo in a bizarre change with less than 20 minutes remaining and went on to play a huge role in deciding the result.
His unfortunate contribution gifted Young Boys all three points at the death after United took an early lead through Ronaldo inside the opening quarter of an hour.
The momentum quickly shifted when Aaron Wan-Bissaka was shown a straight red card for a full-blooded lunge on Christopher Martins midway through the first half.
Young Boys went on to equalise through Moumi Ngamaleu, who found the net on 66 minutes, before Siebatcheu’s last-gasp winner condemned United to a shocking defeat.
Although Lingard’s performance on Tuesday evening was nothing to be proud of, Solskjaer declared after the full-time whistle that he is expecting the playmaker to bounce back at the next available opportunity.
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The United boss told reporters that Lingard could be in line to feature against West Ham when the Red Devils return to Premier League action on Sunday.
“With Jesse, no footballer likes making mistakes but it’s obviously part and parcel of the game,” explained Solskjaer.
“We’ll learn from it, he’ll learn from it. We’re humans, every footballer makes mistakes.
“He’ll pick himself up and be ready to go on Sunday against West Ham.”
Lingard excelled during a six-month loan spell at the London Stadium during the second half of last season, helping the Hammers to achieve Europa League qualification at the end of the campaign.
He chipped in with nine goals and five assists for the club and was heavily linked with a return to east London throughout the summer transfer window.
However, he decided to stay and fight for his place at United, but it seems as though a regular starting berth could be a step too far based on Tuesday’s evidence.
Red Devils skipper Harry Maguire echoed Solskjaer’s sentiments when quizzed on Lingard after the match, claiming that he will be ready to go again on Sunday in order to redeem himself.
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“It’s disappointing, but that’s football, people make mistakes,” the England defender told MUTV.
“We’re not blaming Jesse, he’s tried to do the right thing but he’s left the pass short. Everyone makes mistakes.
“I’m sure every footballer who has played on that pitch today has made a mistake for a goal. Jesse will pick himself up and be ready to go again on Sunday.
“We don’t like losing any match, we’re disappointed with tonight, but we’ve five games to go and we’ll be looking to win the next match and pick up momentum from there.”
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