Manchester United academy product Jesse Lingard has insisted that his off field friendships are not carried onto the pitch.
The England international has had his fair share of criticism this season but has risen above it to become a reliable member of Jose Mourinho’s team in recent matches.
Lingard’s good form of late resulted in his double against Arsenal at the Emirates, a product of his manager’s faith.
Often described as a winger, he’s benefitting from playing in his preferred position as an attacking midfielder and has started to add goals and assists to his game.
Always considered a live-wire, the home grown talent only had to work on his end game and the more mature he gets, the more fans will see it perfected.
Speaking to United Review on Manchester City’s players, Jesse said: “You know quite a lot of them [City’s Academy players] growing up, and through the England set-up as well.
“I’m good friends with Raheem [Sterling] off the pitch. But when you’re on the pitch, there are no friends and we’re there to do a job and win the game.”
Henrikh Mkhitaryan started the season so brightly but dimmed just as quickly with Jose since criticising the player.
Juan Mata has normally been United’s Mr Reliable but has failed to live up to his previous seasons at the club.
His performance vs CSKA Moscow saw an improvement but the Spaniard has largely been disappointing, particularly in the absence of Paul Pogba.
Although Jesse’s versatility helps him and helps Jose’s need for tactical flexibility, the player himself has benefitted from a regular run in the attacking midfield position.
The Englishman’s speed, creativity and movement is second to none, offering his manager a real mixed bag of talent in comparison to his positional competitors.