Manchester United look to Jesse Lingard to do his talking on the pitch

By AFP: Sunday, September 22nd 2019 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Football
Europa League - Group L - Manchester United v Astana - Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - September 19, 2019 General view as a fan walks past a mural of Manchester United's Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford and Scott McTominay outside the stadium before the match. [Reuters]

Jesse Lingard is reportedly on the verge of a new contract at Manchester United, but the midfielder is struggling for form at a club that desperately needs its attacking players to step up.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side started the season in style, sweeping Chelsea aside 4-0 at Old Trafford but have failed to score more than a single goal in each of their subsequent five matches.

They face a tricky-looking trip to West Ham on today ahead of Premier League games against Arsenal and Liverpool over the coming month.

The departure of Romelu Lukaku to Italy has left Solskjaer light in forward areas, with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial expected to fill the void.

New winger Daniel James has impressed, scoring three times, but until Mason Greenwood’s winner against Astana in the Europa League on Thursday, those three players had scored all United’s goals so far. That lends weight to fears that United do not have sufficient creativity and goal threat from midfield. England midfielder Lingard, who came through the youth ranks at Old Trafford, divides opinion among fans and has come in for stinging criticism on social media for his poor form.

He was accused of embarrassing the club even before the season started after posting a video that showed him shouting and swearing while on holiday with Rashford in Miami.

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Lingard, who has 6.6 million Instagram followers and his own fashion label, JLingz, has reportedly been told to focus on his football by Solskjaer, with Rashford given the same advice.

Whether or not he has lost his focus, the 26-year-old, who has started three of United’s five Premier League matches so far, is struggling to make an impact on the pitch this season. 

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