Jesse Lingard is back playing international football once again.
Who saw that coming?
The midfielder is impressing greatly on loan for West Ham at the moment. So much so that he earned his first England call-up in 656 days for the Three Lions’ three World Cup qualifiers.
And he started in Thursday’s opener against San Marino in Wembley.
Somehow, Lingard didn’t get himself on the scoresheet during the 5-0 victory mainly thanks to some outstanding saves from opposition goalkeeper, Elia Benedettini.
But the Manchester United loanee was impressive during the 90 minutes, registering an assist for Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s second half goal.
And an image of Lingard in action against San Marino is going viral after his impressive return. A photo of Lingard on the ball surrounded by six San Marino players was captured. The image is being shared on social media and Lingard himself even posted it on his social channels after the match.
He wrote: “To be able to wear this shirt again means the world to me! It’s been a long journey back but makes this moment even sweeter!!”
Jesse Lingard? More like Messi Lingard…
After the match, Gareth Southgate didn’t compare Lingard to Messi but he did insist he’s happy to see him having some fun once again.
“Good to see Jesse looking like he’s enjoying his football again,” he said.
After his call-up, Lingard credited the England boss for persuaded him to stay in England when his United future was in doubt.
Lingard said: “There were a couple of teams in Spain, France and then, obviously, like I say, I had the conversation with Gareth and he was saying: ‘if I was you, I’d stay in the Premiership.’
“He’s the first one to give me my England debut, which I’m proud of and I still kept in contact with him, even though I wasn’t playing just to get his advice on what I should do.
“Things happen off the pitch which obviously can affect your performances and when I went on loan to West Ham I had a lot of targets written down.
“Certain ones I’ve hit already and I will continue that for the rest of the season so it’s just about having the right mindset and right focus – coming to West Ham and trying to help out the team, trying to fight for Europe, and I also have individual targets as well.
“I’ve got a whiteboard in my apartment in London at the moment, so I’ve been doing that with my brother. I’ve been obviously analysing each game, seeing where I can improve, seeing where I can get better.
“I think there’s two ticks at the moment. I won’t reveal them yet but there’s a couple of ticks on there, yeah. Every game is a learning curve and you can always improve. I feel there’s more to come.”
News Now – Sport News