As a Manchester United fan of over two decades, its deeply discouraging when Jesse Lingard plays like an amateur at 26. But apart from Mata who else could fill the spot held without exploits by Lingard – the answer is Angel Gomes.
Should Manchester United replace Lingard with Gomes in the starting XI?
Another season. Same woes. After a tumultuous transfer season, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United have started campaign 19-20 on the same disappointing note. In his first full season, Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has put faith in the young and raw talent, after CEO Ed Woodward was unable to bring significant attacking reinforcement to the team.
After a tumultuous transfer season, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United have started campaign 19-20 on the same disappointing note.
While the campaign 19-20 started positively as United emerged unbeaten from the pre-season tour. The Premier League opener against Chelsea was a statement with a resounding 4-0 win. But in the next two matches, the team flattered to deceive roping in a draw against Wolves followed by a 2-1 loss against Crystal Palace.
Three games in, a similar feeling of reluctance
While it took United only three games to stumble out of the top 4, its perhaps not surprising for the world’s largest fan base which expected an underwhelming campaign. Over 150 million pounds were spent on transfers which shored up the backline with record signing Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka. The only new attacking reinforcement was Daniel James who has arguably been one of the better performers with two goals in three games.
Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba have also had decent starts, though the strikers have lacked some edge in the final third. But the biggest disappointment is in the midfield area where a lack of ability to penetrate, link up and break defences stands out as United’s biggest inability to be a title challenger. And there’s one player who looks to be out-of-sorts is Jesse Lingard and Manchester United should replace him with Angel Gomes.
Jesse Lingard: Still raw at 26
Lingard has arguably been the worst performing player in the United cadre this season. The early returns have been disappointing, and Jesse has been anonymous. The English attacking midfielder can now count himself in one of the senior players at the club. But his performances make youngsters like Scott McTominay and Marcus Rashford look like veterans.
In both the Wolves and Crystal Palace matches where he was a starter, Lingard remained out of the game for large parts. His first touch is still wanting of much improvement – Lingard’s bad touches have broken some of the best build-up plays from United in the opening weekends. His shots are still inconsistent and seldom is United’s central attacking link a formidable task for opposition defenders.
#Jesse #Lingard‘s goal and assist record:— Man United Xyz (@ManUnitedXyz) August 24, 2019
May 2018: 0
Aug 2018: 0
Sep 2018: 0
Oct 2018: 0
Nov 2018: 0
Dec 2018: 4/2
Jan 2019: 0
Feb 2019: 0
May 2019: 0
Aug 2019: 0
And he will start our next match he has the United DNA 🔴⚫⚪ 🇾🇪 pic.twitter.com/a0c4wiKkkD
Lingard lacks the vision to penetrate tough defences, is caught out and loses possession a number of times in a single match. Perhaps, pressing is the only attribute where Lingard cannot be questioned. And considering he is now 26, it looks unlikely that Lingard will end as a United legend, given his ability or lack of ability that is.
The Insta Player, read JLingz
Jesse Lingard has been criticized on a number of occasions for indulging in distractions. A flamboyant personality, Jesse has a huge social media following. Lingard keeps posting and updating despite the result of the last match. Manchester United win or lose, Jesse plays good or not; his social media engine is always running.
Lingard also has a signature label called Jlingz. But unlike most footballers, his brand isn’t because of his brand of football. But rather his savvy social media image he relentlessly promotes. Lingard has also faced the wrath of fans for being obnoxious in his social media banter despite a lack of form. Maybe, if Lingard spends more time practicing than on his phone, his returns would be much better. But till then, United need to bench him.
Angel Gomes for Lingard – Answer to Manchester United’s CAM woes
Manchester United looked far and wide in their search for a new central attacking link before settling at Lingard. They went after names like Bruno Fernandes, Paulo Dybala, and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. But the answer to their quest lies in their famed Academy. A certain diminutive playmaker called Angel Gomes.
Pogba and McTominay often find themselves with no forward pass, being forced to play backwards and recycle through AWB, Lindelof and Maguire. Angel Gomes has an ability to find pockets, the skill to keep the ball in tight spaces and play forward. It’d be interesting to see. #MUFC pic.twitter.com/1qAoZJ7r3D— Rich (@UtdPotential) August 27, 2019
Angel may lack the physicality which is ‘touted’ as essential for the Premier League. But the youngster is a special talent. Gomes has excellent ball control, linking and passing abilities – all crucial to the position that is central to the impressive build up play that Solskjaer wants to promote.
Give Gomes an extended run
Angel hit a brilliant link up goal in the pre-season which was reminiscent of the better times we got so accustomed to under Sir Alex. Maybe if Solskjaer shows confidence in Gomes’ abilities, we might get to have a CAM that’s not anonymous and has to be subbed in the 54th minute. Indeed, when Lingard hits wayward, misses or is unable to control simple passes, its insulting to the thread of Manchester United.
Winter is coming but its still a long way. Hoping that Lingard may hit a purple patch and contribute 5 goals is not the United way. And waiting for a better central attacker in Jan isn’t either. This makes the current situation a perfect platform for Jesse Lingard’s replacement Angel Gomes to prosper and follow in the footsteps of prolific fledglings who have gone on to become Manchester United greats.