Jesse Lingard determined to emulate the Class of 92 at Manchester United

by Leo Nieboer

Jesse Lingard has spoken of a duty to replicate the feats of homegrown Manchester United greats such as Paul Scholes, David Beckham and Gary Neville.

The 25-year-old made his first major splash on the world stage with a stunning winning goal in the FA Cup final back in 2016.

He added the League Cup and Europa League to his collection last term and has seen his stock dramatically rise over the last few months with a series of remarkable strikes at important moments.

Speaking on Football Focus, Lingard noted that he took inspiration from the generation of homegrown players who won everything under Sir Alex Ferguson.

“It is all about making new history but you see the team with Paul Scholes, David Beckham, Gary Neville etc and you see what they achieved and it is only right that the likes of me, Marcus and Paul try and emulate that and win trophies,” he said. 

“They came through the ranks together, but my (youth) team went their separate ways so to have another home lad like Marcus in the team and with Paul having been here since 16, we just want to try and emulate what they did.”

It can often feel like that organic streak United always had under Sir Alex Ferguson – the commitment to always improving, always demanding more of each other, lessons from the academy being applied on the biggest of stages – has somewhat dissipated amid the slew of modern football, with its crazy fees and social media and globalised feel.

But even in today’s radically altered footballing climate that belief in players from the academy remains, with Marcus Rashford, Lingard, Paul Pogba, Scott McTominay – and to a lesser extent Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Axel Tuanzebe – forming an essential part of the United squad.

And that, above anything, engenders a feeling of hope among youngsters like Angel Gomes and Tahith Chong looking to front the next generation of United players. How many top clubs can boast that?

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