Rene Meulensteen believes Jesse Lingard has the qualities and the hallmarks to become an English version of FC Barcelona’s Andres Iniesta in the future.
The 22-year-old was coached by Meulensteen for years throughout his career in Manchester United’s academy teams, so the ex-Reserves boss is certainly well placed to have an opinion on Jesse.
Comparing him to Iniesta is as good a compliment as he could have given him and his early form with the first-team so far this season certainly goes a long way to show he is more than capable of playing at the highest level.
“I see him as the English version of Iniesta,” Meulensteen told United review.
“He has still got a long way to go but that is the sort of player I see in him.”
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) November 23, 2015
Comparisons with greats don’t particularly go down well at the early stages of any player’s career but it does go to show how much belief Meulensteen has in Lingard, which can only serve to help his confidence.
He’s got a long road ahead of him but the only reason he’s currently in this position is down to his own hard work, so that’s a testament to how well Lingard has already done to get to where he is at now.
Will he become the English version of Iniesta? I certainly hope so but the focus for Lingard will simply be to carry on as he is currently and keep his place in Louis van Gaal‘s team. If he can do that, he will continue to develop at a rapid pace both technically and professionally.