Jesse Lingard shines for England but may end up ruing Man Utd gamble this summer

Jesse Lingard continued his purple patch in England's win over Andorra on Sunday – but his stock may have plummeted by the time the next international break comes around.

After falling out of favour at Manchester United in the first half of last season Lingard, 28, joined West Ham on a six-month loan deal which proved the catalyst for a drastic upturn in form.

The United academy graduate scored nine goals in 16 games for David Moyes' side, helping them secure Europa League qualification, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer clearly liked what he saw.

Because now Lingard is back at Old Trafford in the 2021/22 campaign, turning down a potential return to the London Stadium to stay and fight for his place under Solskjaer.

The Red Devils boss would have also liked what he saw from his returned loanee in England's 4-0 World Cup qualifying against Andorra.

After 18 minutes at Wembley, Lingard picked up a loose ball in the box and tucked it past goalkeeper Josep Gomes to fire the Three Lions ahead.

And with just over 10 minutes remaining at Wembley, he then curled home his second and England's third to cap an impressive Sunday afternoon showing.

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When he does manage to get on the pitch Lingard is playing like a man at the peak of his powers right now, combining well with his fellow frontmen and providing a goal threat in the final third.

But the question is, how often will he get on the pitch for United this season?

It was already tough to envisage the England ace featuring prominently in Manchester before Cristiano Ronaldo secured a shock return last week.

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Should Solskjaer stick to a 4-3-3 this season as expected, and categorise Lingard as an attacker, he will now be competing with one of the best players on the planet in Ronaldo, as well as Jadon Sancho, Mason Greenwood, Edinson Cavani, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial.

To feature as part of the midfield he would have to replace Bruno Fernandes, which simply won't be on the cards given the Portuguese's importance.

Thus, has Lingard made a mistake by passing up the chance to head back to West Ham?

The Red Devils outcast had a smile on his face again when plying his trade in east London, thriving as one of the Hammers' key men in attack.

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Given their strong start to the new campaign, had he rejoined Moyes and co Lingard would have likely kept his fine run of form going and boosted his chances of becoming an England regular.

Yet that will be a tall order when used mainly as a late substitute and in lesser cup competitions amid a host of world-class options at Old Trafford.

By the time Lingard links up with England again in October, he may well need to blow away some cobwebs.

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