Former Manchester United coach Rene Meulensteen has praised Jesse Lingard for his recent performances and claimed that he always believed that the Englishman was similar to Andres Iniesta in the way they play the game.
The versatile attacker has had a fantastic past few weeks, working his way into Jose Mourinho’s plans and consistently performing to a high level.
Capable of playing in either wing or in behind the striker, Lingard’s many attributes have allowed him to be a flexible player who can likely fit into any tactical system.
Mourinho has praised the academy product as well and given him his preferred position as an attacking midfielder as reward for his efforts.
Meulensteen has claimed that Jesse’s qualities are similar to Barcelona legend Iniesta’s qualities and has insisted he knew all along of the pacy attacker’s ability.
According to Talking Baws, Rene said to Bleacher Report: “I saw so many similarities in their games, and I always believed that Jesse was the English Andres Iniesta.
“Like Iniesta, he finds these pockets of space, he is always on the move and has very good feet. The only thing missing until recently was goals, but now Jesse is scoring important goals too.
“In my opinion, you could fly Jesse to Barcelona, let him play in Iniesta’s position, and he would comfortably be able to do it and fit in. And he does it in the Premier League, which is more difficult than La Liga, so that is a credit to Jesse.
“Jesse’s size held him back, but now it is actually an advantage, as he is light, agile and quick, and so opponents can’t live with him.”
The similarities of Andreas Iniesta and Jesse Lingard can be put down to positions more so than anything else and it’s unlikely fans will ever see him leave Old Trafford; not that they want him to.
The Spanish maestro was also capable of playing on either flank but had a similar preference in wanting the attacking midfield position more.
Now in the latter stages of his career, Iniesta has dropped further into central midfield in order to maintain his previous levels of performances.
Despite Meulensteen’s high praise of Lingard, he’ll have to perform at a high level consistently for several seasons before being compared to Andreas.