Jesse Lingard can give competition to Bruno Fernandes and will be ‘desperate’ to play for Man United, believes Paul Scholes, as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ready to welcome back playmaker after stunning West Ham loan

Paul Scholes believes Jesse Lingard will be ‘desperate’ to play for Manchester United as he backed him to provide competition to Bruno Fernandes next season.

The 28-year-old has been a revelation on loan at West Ham, scoring eight times and contributing four assists in just nine appearances for the Champions League chasing Hammers, who would like to sign the England playmaker on a permanent basis.

Lingard’s form has alerted some of the biggest clubs in world football

However, the prospect of that happening at this time looks unlikely with Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitting he will ‘welcome back’ Lingard next season.

“Jesse has been brilliant since he left and I’ve answered this quite a few times,” the Norwegian said ahead of his side’s Europa League quarter-final second-leg tie against Granada – which is live on talkSPORT 2.

“Selfishly we could have kept him because he’s always got a part to play.

“Jesse is a fantastic lad around the place, Man United through and through, never once did he moan or cause me a problem.

Solskjaer wants Lingard to return to Old Trafford following the completion of his loan
Getty Images

“He just came in, worked really hard and deserved a chance to play more football. That’s why we let him go to West Ham, because he deserved a chance for what he’s done throughout his life at Man United.

“Of course we welcome him back. I hope he will go to the Euros, because with his performances now and the confidence he’s got, I don’t think that’s beyond him.

“I hope he’s got a strong finish to the league. It was different here, the form Bruno [Fernandes] has played in arguably in Jesse’s favoured position.

“That was just a decison that we made. Delighted though for Jesse and wish him all the best for the rest of the season until he comes back.”

Speaking to talkSPORT 2, Scholes – the United legend who coached Lingard in his academy days – said the impact he has had at West Ham is probably better than anyone could have imagined.

And he insists he could still have a role to play at Old Trafford.

“He’d had a tough time at United and I think that was all from bringing Bruno Fernandes in,” he said in conversation with Tracey Neville on talkSPORT 2.

“They are players in similiar positions and you couldn’t argue with what Bruno has done.

talkSPORT 2

Scholes worked with Lingard a lot during the early stages of his United career[/caption]

“Jesse needed to play football – he needed a chance – and West Ham gave him that chance.

“I know the quality Jesse has. I worked with Jesse as an 18/19 year-old as a coach so I know the quality he possesses.

“His fitness was never going to be a problem even though he hadn’t played for a while, he’s so professional and so fit.

“He’s been sensational. For Ole, I think it would be great to have him back to give some competition to Bruno Fernandes.

“When he isn’t quite doing it we have a player in Jesse Lingard who is capable of reaching the same heights.

“His numbers since he’s been at West Ham have been just as good as Bruno, so it’s always healthy to have competition in the squad.

“Hopefully Jesse is ready for that and Ole wants him to do that as well.”

Fernandes’ arrival at the club last January pushed Lingard further down the pecking order

Pressed on whether he would return to United if he was in Lingard’s shoes, Scholes responded: “Of course I would. I’d want to prove to myself that I can play in that team and play every week.

“It’s going to be difficult to do that if Bruno Fernandes is fit every week. It’s going to be tough for him, but the lad I know in Jesse he’s a Man United lad.

“He’ll be desperate to play for Manchester United. Whether he’ll give it a bit more time to see [what he’s going to do] after this form he’s been in if he can get back in the squad, I don’t know.

“One thing he is doing is definitely bumping his price up.”

Source: Sport

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