Jesse Lingard gave Wayne Rooney something that most other Manchester United players have not been able to give too often this season a the perfect cross, from which to score a goal.
But the 22-year-old did not always seem to be good enough to make the cut, at Old Trafford. Spending the better part of the last three seasons on loan to clubs like Leicester City, Birmingham City, Brighton & Hove Albion, and Derby County, Lingarda s career did not really seem to be taking him anywhere.
However, legendary Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson had predicted this career trajectory for Lingaard, as early as three years ago.
a Jesse Lingard is going to be some player,a Manchester Evening News quoted Sir Alex saying this, three years back. a He is 19, came through our youth system and is built like Jean Tigana was for France. But he never got into the limelight there until he was about 24, and I think that will be the same with Lingard.
a He will become a player when hea s 22 or so. As an attacking midfielder he has got a really good talent. I think he will be a player we have high hopes for, definitely.a
Judging young players remains a baffling task even for experts
Lingard’s career-path brings out the question, when would be the prefect time to judge young players. At the age of 22, Lingard can no more be called a youth player. Yet, there are also the likes of Adnan Januzaj (20), Luke Shaw (20), Phil Jones (23), and Anthony Martial (19), who are under the club’s payroll.
Januzaj was considered a bright prospect a couple of years back, but now he is languishing at Borussia Dortmund where he has been handed just five starts. Shaw was signed for A?27 million last season, and Martial was signed for A?36 million this year.
Meanwhile, Jones has been playing for quite some time now, and has acquired over 100 appearances for Manchester United and 18 caps for England. It would be interesting to see how Lingard grows at Old Trafford.Whether he continues to follow path Sir Alex has predicted for him and become a truly great player, remains to be seen.