Powell and Lingard backed for the big stage at Manchester United

by Tracey Germaine

England Under-21 boss Gareth Southgate has backed Nick Powell and Jesse Lingard to become top class players at Manchester United.

Both players have spent the majority of this season on loan having found their first team progress limited under former manager David Moyes but are likely to join the pre-season tour this summer.

Southgate feels the experience that they’ve gained in the Championship will prove beneficial to them.

“There’s Nick and Jesse Lingard from United, both of whom are out on loan, who I think in time could well make their way into the first team there,” Southgate said.

“But they are young and I think they probably do need that league experience at the moment.”

Powell has been a regular goalscorer for Wigan this season, as they campaigned on multiple fronts including the Europa League and continue to aim for a play-off place. His performances haven’t gone unnoticed by Southgate.

“I’ve seen him [Powell] a couple of times recently for Wigan,” added Southgate,

“He missed a long period out injured just after Christmas, but he is a super talent, there’s no question about that.”

Southgate’s words jar with his actions as Powell has only played 14 minutes for England’s Under-21s this season but hopefully these comments mark a change in attitude from the England boss.

Meanwhile, Brighton’s recent charge for promotion has been aided by the performances of Lingard, something which has caught the eye of Southgate.

“And after a good pre-season with United last summer, Jesse has had a good season too so they can be pleased going back to United for next season,” he concluded.

Lingard has featured four times for England’s Under-21s this season. Strangely, this is the first time Lingard has been involved at youth international level.

Both players, along with fellow United players Michael Keane, Wilfried Zaha and Sam Johnstone, will be contention to make Southgate’s squad to take on Wales in the European qualifying on May 19.

The squad will also be taking part in the Toulon Tournament in France next month where they will face Colombia, Brazil, Qatar and Korea Republic.

Image: Twitter/manutdfakta

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