Prior to the start of this season, many thought Jesse Lingard would be the starlet to break through at Manchester United. But after an impressive pre-season, the attacking midfielder instead found himself out on loan – first at Birmingham City and later at Brighton.
It is at the latter where he will remain until the end of the campaign, at which point he must try all over again to impress David Moyes to such an extent that he has no choice but to incorporate Lingard in his first-team plans.
But for now the 21-year-old is thinking only about Brighton’s Championship campaign.
Lingard followed up his goal in Brighton’s 4-1 victory over Leicester City on Tuesday with the first in the Seagulls’ 3-0 win over Charlton Athletic this weekend. And with Brighton hanging on to the last play-off place – at least for now – Lingard has plenty to occupy his mind before a summer return to United.
Speaking in an interview with the Argus, Lingard revealed his thoughts on his loan spell so far.
“The confidence is there. We push on now,” he said.
“I’ve settled now. I’ve got my name on the score-sheet. I’m settling in playing alongside Leo (Ulloa) up front so I’m enjoying it. I’m confident.”
Should Brighton ultimately make it into the Premier League, Lingard could find his way back there pretty quickly, but either way the young United man has the perfect platform on which to prove to Moyes that he is ready for the big time. And Brighton could soon be joining him.
Do you think Lingard should be part of United's first-team plans next season?