Is this player Manchester United’s dark-horse of the season

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Jesse Lingard is living the dream at Manchester United. Hailing from Warrington, Cheshire; Jesse has been Man United through and through. His story is based on patience, as he has had to wait an awful lot before getting a proper crack at first team football.

Hailing from the same youth squad alongside the likes of Paul Pogba, Ravel Morrison, Ryan Tunnicliffe and Davide Petrucci, he was an integral part of the successful under-19 team of 2011.

Jesse has Louis van Gaal to thank for his first team debut; after a stint at wing-back in United’s opening day defeat to Swansea in 2014. He sure has come a long way to becoming a first team regular under Jose Mourinho.

Three games into the new season, he has managed two substitute appearances from the bench. Without a doubt, he will find minutes hard to come by this season. His introduction against Leicester City would definitely give him motivation, heading into the rest of the season. He showed bright sparks in his limited time on the pitch, also getting an assist as his shot was deflected by Fellaini for United’s clincher on the night.

Mourinho clearly has a devised game-plan, and sadly for Jesse, he does not fit in it as yet. But with a packed schedule for Jose to manage coupled with Lingard’s reliability; he could get his time to shine.

After having a humongous 42 appearances for Manchester United last season, it is obvious that Jose likes the lad. His work-rate at both ends of the pitch is commendable. He’s a true Jose-type player.

The resurgence of Anthony Martial has left him on the bench so far. The Frenchman seems to have got the menacing confidence back, at the expense of Lingard’s position in the starting XI.

Lingard does infuriate, quite a lot of times. His social media antics don’t help him either and his celebrations are cringe-worthy; but he is a proficient squad player. He has scored some very important goals in the past and can flip the switch in an instant.

Manchester United will need him, and he should deliver whenever called upon. At the ripe age of 24, it’s the ideal time for him to hit his peak; and repay the faith that the manager has shown in him.

While all the focus will be on Lukaku, Pogba and Martial; Lingard can be the dark-horse, and work in silence.