Will Lingard’s resurgence at West Ham earn him a recall to the Three Lions?


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Jesse Lingard appears to have found form since making a loan switch to West Ham United in January, giving England manager Gareth Southgate some food for thought.

Lingard made his Hammers debut a day to remember when the attacking midfielder scored a brace in a 3-1 win over Aston Villa back in February. Southgate was in attendance at Villa Park on the evening and congratulated the 28-year-old for his performance.

Since then, the Manchester United loanee hasn’t looked back and continues his resurgence to form in claret and blue; it’s believed Southgate is strongly considering him for Thursday’s squad selection for this month’s World Cup qualifiers.

Lingard last featured for England in the Nations League third-place play-off in June 2019, winning on penalties against Switzerland.

Having been left out of that October’s European Championship qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Bulgaria, Southgate told BBC Sport: “I think Jesse has had a difficult time. As an attacking midfielder, you are going to be judged on your goals and assists. The competition is a lot higher than it was 18 months ago. Jesse is another player who can get himself back in the squad.”

Lingard has earned 24 caps and it’s understood that Southgate is a huge admirer. The Athletic says the ‘England manager was happy to provide a glowing reference for potential suitors when Manchester United were willing to let him leave on loan in January.’

Since arriving in East London, he has been directly involved in five goals in six appearances (four goals, one assist) and is flourishing under manager David Moyes. Lingard’s performances have been recognised across the board, having been shortlisted for the Premier League’s Player of the Month award for February.

Speaking about his move to the Hammers, back in January, Lingard most certainly concealed any hopes of an England call up, he told BBC Sport: “Nothing is guaranteed but I’ve come here to work hard and help the team and bring my experience. That’s the main aim. I just want to enjoy my football and get back playing again and get my feet back on the pitch.”

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Likewise, Lingard almost certainly didn’t expect to regalvanise his career in a fashion in which has attracted interest from the international manager. Though, it is worth noting that Southgate handed him his senior international debut, in his own first game in charge, in October 2016.

The loanee’s chances for selection, seemed to have only been strengthened as injuries to Leicester duo, James Maddison and Harvey Barnes as well as Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho and Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish mean it’s unlikely that either of them will be named in the squad.

As England made their best finish to a World Cup competition since Italy 1990, Lingard was a key performer in the Three Lions journey to the 2018 World Cup semi-final, in Russia. Starting five of the seven games scoring a memorable goal in the group-stage win over Panama.

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Lingard had only featured three times this season for the Red Devil’s all-in cup competitions, before his switch to West Ham, but following his resurgence in east London it is increasingly likely he will also factor into Southgate’s thinking for this summer’s European Championship if he continues this rich vein of form.

Struggling for form in 2019, the Warrington-born attacker failed to register a Premier League goal or assist before being named in the England squad for European Championship qualifiers. Yet Southgate, who acknowledged that Lingard had had ‘better spells’ for United, was determined to stick by him.

“The inclusion of Jesse for us is partly because his form for us has always been good,” Southgate said. “I know there were (negative) stats on his goals. He was only involved in four games for us last season because of injury – two starts and two off the bench.

“He scored two and had a goal disallowed when he came on in the Nations League game. He had a very good World Cup. When you’re selecting a team, there’s half an eye on club form but also I don’t remember a game where he’s been really poor for us.”

So, with form on his side, will Lingard earn the nod from Southgate?

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Sports Journalism undergraduate at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) with an excellent knowledge and passion for football. As well as a strong all-round understanding of most major sports. Given my passion for sport and my previous experiences in Business, I know a career in Sports Journalism would be perfect for me.

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