Rio Ferdinand praised Jesse Lingard for making an impression after his rollercoaster week at Manchester United, and praised the individual qualities he brings to the team.
Lingard has managed to go from villain to hero in just days after making a horror mistake and handing Young Boys their Champions League winner before then scoring a final goal at West Ham.
And Ferdinand, despite admitting he would have urged Lingard to leave if he found his playing time limited, believes the playmaker is now thriving again.
Rio Ferdinand has praised Jesse Lingard after his Manchester United win at West Ham
“People were screaming for Jesse Lingard to go on loan,” Ferdinand said recently Atmosphere with Five episode. ‘Yes I agree with you. If he didn’t get a chance, I’d say, “You have to go.”
“But it seems Ole said to him over the summer: ‘You’re going to get chances, I’m going to give you playing time. You have to make an impact.” And he does.
“This is a great example of how you can be the villain one week and the hero three or four days later.
Lingard, who was appointed as a substitute, made a good impression by picking out the top corner
Former United defender Ferdinand says the past week sums up life as a footballer for Lingard
“This week for Jesse Lingard represents exactly what it’s like to be a footballer. He conceded a goal, kept his hands up during the week. Everyone said he had to go. Come this week, he gets thrown on it and produces the goods.
“He pops one in the top corner. I have to say, I’m missing a few things. We all do. But I’ve been consistent with Jesse Lingard. I’ve always said he’s an asset to Manchester United if we use him in the right way.
“He has come up in this game and produced. I think he can do that all season if he’s willing to play that role of coming in and being an impact player.”
Lingard’s sloppy back pass just yards from his own goal proved enough to give Young Boys the chance to take a famous win in Bern, and his teammates and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer quickly tried to rally around him.
Lingard (C) was guilty of a bad back pass that led to Young Boys beating United in stoppage time
Just four days later, the 28-year-old was harassed after firing a stunning shot into the top corner of the London Stadium, and Ferdinand has also highlighted the specific aspects of his game that stood out.
“He’s different,” he added. “His movement off the ball is different from all the players we have, in terms of making themselves available, making one or two touches, always moving and also working off the ball.
‘And you need that variety in the team. It can’t all be the same players, he gives you something different.’
Boss Solskjaer, who made the decision to throw Lingard into the tense battlefield in the final quarter of the weekend, praised his match winner and, like Ferdinand, reflected on the unpredictable nature of life at the top.
But Lingard more than made up for it after scoring United and securing a crucial win
“You have to learn to live with highs and lows,” Solskjaer said.
“He said sorry after Tuesday and everyone said it wasn’t necessary. He came on [today] and was brilliant.
“It was a great goal. I’m so happy for Jesse. Of course he had a rough evening on Tuesday, but he is dead tired and has worked hard again.
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer spoke glowingly of Lingard and his reaction after his mistake
“He’s been the same smart, positive boy, and what a goal. So happy for him. It was a great pass from Nemanja [Matic] and a good fuck from Jesse.
‘[It was] a great response to their goal. I thought we played very good football in the first half, but after that we have to defend better.’
Lingard’s celebrations were notably muted after he found the net, out of respect for his successful loan spell at West Ham during the second half of last season.