Jesse Lingard drafted into England squad for France friendly
Holly Thackeray | November 15, 2015
- Man Utd’s Jesse Lingard called up to senior England squad for the first time
- The starlet has been included by Roy Hodgson following injuries to Michael Carrick and Jamie Vardy
- Lingard is now in contention to feature in France friendly
Jesse Lingard receives England call-up
England boss Roy Hodgson surprised press with an outside-of-the-box late call-up of Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard to his Three Lions squad, for the upcoming friendly fixture against France.
Lingard, just 22, has been brought into the fold following an injury to fellow Red Devil Michael Carrick, who suffered an ankle injury in the previous match versus Spain, as England were slain 2-0.
Leicester City forward Jamie Vardy, who has coincidentally been linked with a January move to Old Trafford, is also sidelined and has been struggling since linking up with the squad, leaving plenty of space for Lingard to make his bow.
The young winger has made just seven senior outings for Man Utd (15/2 with Coral to win the Premier League) but, having been reared in the Mancunians’ academy, was always tipped for the top as a late bloomer, due to his slight stature. Though, Lingard has had to be patient, after an injury at the beginning of last campaign set back his progress of gatecrashing the starting XI.
Despite making just a handful of appearances for the Premier League giants’ first-team, Warrington-born Lingard has seized his chance to shine, and opened his top-tier account last time out by striking a sublime goal against West Bromwich Albion.
Making an impact at Old Trafford
Speaking of Lingard’s inspiring ascent at Old Trafford, club coach Louis van Gaal confirmed he had always intended to keep the attacker close, stating: “Other clubs wanted him on loan this season but I said I wouldn’t do that.
“I told him at the beginning of the season, ‘I want to keep you’. He has had to wait but now he is in better shape than his companions. Now he is playing, he is playing very well.”
A live-wire, but also technically gifted, adaptable and intelligent, Lingard had previously been honing his craft on loan to Championship clubs such as Birmingham City, Brighton and Hove Albion and Derby County.
Lingard’s striking skills could prove crucial
The homegrown star showed a distinctive nose for spectacular goals during those spells, leading him to make 11 appearances for the England Under-21s, most recently at the 2015 Under-21 European Championship.
Should hard-working Lingard feature at Wembley (where England are 5/4 to beat France), he will follow in the likes of Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli’s footsteps by being another youngster to be blooded by Hodgson. While, the United wideman could also join fellow first-time call-up Eric Dier in grabbing a cap.
Usually deployed on the wing to give United greater thrust and pace out wide, it will be intriguing to see whether Hodgson follows suit, or allows Lingard the freedom to play centrally, where his eye for a long-range goal could come in handy when trying to unlock France’s formidable defence.
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