Something clearly changed in Jesse Lingard when he pulled on a West Ham United jersey.
While Manchester United fans will have known well that Lingard had bags of ability and a top-notch attitude from when he was just a teenager, things had definitely gone stale at his boyhood club.
With Bruno Fernandes’ arrival, Lingard was bumped way down the pecking order, and by all accounts some off the pitch situations were effecting his mental health. He needed a change, and it came in the form of a move to West Ham.
From there, Lingard pushed on and became one of the best performers in the Premier League for the second half of last season.
He almost played his way into Gareth Southgate’s England squad for Euro 2020, and was only one or two injuries away from actually getting on the plane.
Jesse Lingard’s impressive form
This was largely down to how he played last season, and his latest Instagram post goes some way into explaining how he turned his career around.
He was thanking a football analyst for the work they did together last season, and shared an image of a whiteboard with some motivational words on it, showing exactly what he needed to work on.
The whiteboard says “get at him”, probably implying Lingard should be more direct when he plays, with another saying “three cup final goals”, surely acting as a reminder that the 28-year-old has often stepped up when he was needed most.
Another word on the board is “gamble”, which Lingard definitely seemed to do in a West Ham jersey, often making late runs into the box and getting on the end of crosses as a result.
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What happens with Lingard now is completely up in the air, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s latest comments seemingly implying he wants to keep him at United. However, West Ham are definitely interested in signing him permanently, and if they fork up the right amount of cash, it’s unlikely Solskjaer will fight too hard to keep him around.