Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard is keen to make the most out of his loan spell at Derby County and is feeling 100% fit after what has been a tough season.
The 22-year-old midfielder made his full Man United debut on the opening day of the season against Swansea but cruelly suffered a bad injury which ruled him out for the next six months.
Having impressed on his return for Man United’s U21, Lingard was allowed to join Derby on loan and made his debut with the Rams on Saturday in their FA Cup loss to Reading in which they played over 45 minutes with ten men.
It was a tough first game for Lingard but looking ahead to the rest of the season, Lingard is hoping to cement a place in Steve McClaren’s team and says Man United have asked Derby to take care of him.
“Getting injured in the first game of the season was a setback but I’ve overcome that now,” said Lingard.
“I’m fit again and it’s good to get 90 minutes under my belt.
“I feel 100% now and I’ve settled in well.
“This game gave me a good blow-out. I got my second wind eventually and kicked on from there.
“Manchester United have told Derby to take care of me and look after me, with me coming back from injury.
“This was a good game for me to play in and, hopefully, I can keep my place.
“I’ve got to keep working hard in training and keep pleasing the boss.
“Every training session, you’ve got to work hard to try to get in the team for the weekend of midweek game.
“Then you’ve got to show what you can do in the game.
“Hopefully, I can stay in the team.”
A loan spell is the best way for Lingard to progress because game time would have been very limited at Man United in the second half of this season.
The fact that Derby are enjoying a strong promotion push also drops Lingard into a new environment which will expose him to a real pressure situation, something that should help him mature as a player.
Lingard was terribly unlucky to suffer a bad injury on his debut but Louis van Gaal is an admirer of his and he’ll get more opportunities if he can impress on loan with Derby.