Jesse Lingard is just as good as Henrikh Mkhitaryan, and now he needs to push on, claims Paul Scholes

by Harry Robinson

Paul Scholes has told Jesse Lingard to push on and secure himself a regular spot in the Manchester United first team.

The English attacking midfielder was in excellent form in Man United’s midweek 4-2 victory against Watford, sealing the three points with a stunning solo effort, dribbling from his own half before finishing it superbly and accurately. Watford had been threatening to complete an astonishing comeback from three goals down.

Lingard had been influential in Ashley Young’s opening goal as well as Anthony Martial’s strike on the counter-attack. His impact in Tuesday night’s game was huge.

Scholes claimed Lingard has just as much quality as Henrikh Mkhitaryan, the man chosen to play behind the striker most regularly this season.

“Maybe they don’t trust him enough. Maybe he’s not the big name of a Mkhitaryan or somebody like that, but he’s got that ability. He’s got, I’d say, the same level of ability as Mkhitaryan,” Scholes told BT Sport.

“Like I said, he can score goals, he can make goals.”

After praising Lingard, Scholes continued to say that the Warrington-born United fan has to now force himself into a regular starting spot.

“What’s his best position? He has to establish himself, he has be more consistent, he has to produce more performances like that to make him a real first team player.

I don’t think he’s ever gone on from that bit part player. Now is the time, he has to kick on from this.”

Scholes is right. Lingard is a big game player, think of the FA Cup Final, and a big moment player, thinking of his goal to secure the win against Watford. But he still has never been a true regular in the side, a name you’d be shocked to see not in the starting line-up.

And it’s unlikely he ever will be. But that has to be the aim for Lingard now.

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