Lingard has largely been deployed on the right-wing by van Gaal this term but the 23-year-old played in the No.10 position against Liverpool and City last week.
Against City, Lingard’s direct running and intelligence on the pitch helped Man United secure a big three points, with Marcus Rashford scoring the winner. Van Gaal believes Lingard could thrive in a central position.
“That is why I have put him there but sometimes also I need a right winger who is fast,” van Gaal said.
“It’s also dependable on the opponent and the game plan, but I think Jesse is more of a midfielder than a right winger. He played there two times very well.”
Unfortunately, United don’t appear to have a player with the athleticism of a Mesut Ozil or David Silva, who can unlock defences with a swift and decisive pass. Lingard’s intelligent movement could give him an edge in the role and it will be interesting to see if van Gaal sticks with him there.