Jesse Lingard is presenting Jose Mourinho with his biggest problem at Manchester United according to Jermaine Jenas.
The Englishman has been in fantastic form in the last three months, the best spell of his Man United career seeing him become an important player in the side and one of the most consistent, too.
However, Mourinho brought in Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal in January in a straight player-swap deal for Armenian attacking midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who was getting little playing time, with Arsenal.
Since then, Lingard’s role in the side has diminished.
“Jesse Lingard is probably giving Mourinho his biggest problem at the moment – in the best possible way,” Jenas said.
The 26-year-old netted the winner for United against Premier League champions Chelsea on Sunday afternoon in a 2-1 win at Old Trafford, heading home well after a fantastic delivery from striker Romelu Lukaku, who scored the equaliser.
“He brings so much to the United attack when he plays, either on the right or more centrally behind the centre-forward, but since Alexis Sanchez signed for United, he has started only three out of their seven games,” Jenas continued.
“I can understand why, because Mourinho has got a lot of attacking options – but with Lingard playing the way he is, surely he cannot ignore what he has got to offer.”
As things stand, Lingard offers far more to United than Alexis Sanchez does. That would have sounded ridiculous only four months ago, but Lingard has firmly cemented himself as one of the best players, in terms of form, in the side.
His impact off the bench on Sunday was a reminder of his new-found goalscoring prowess, striking his eighth league goal of the season and his 13th in all competitions this campaign.
It’s his best season in terms of goals ever, and he has won United points in a multitude of games now. It won’t be long before Lingard returns to the starting line-up, surely, the question is whether it is Sanchez who he replaces.