Lingard makes future admission ahead of Man Utd return and reflects on 'emotional' England snub


Jesse Lingard is due to return to Manchester United this summer, following a productive loan spell at West Ham, but he has made it clear that "regular football" must form part of his future.

The 28-year-old starred for the Hammers on the back of a winter switch to the London Stadium, with nine goals scored through 16 games as a recall to the England squad was earned and serious questions were asked of his ongoing presence at Old Trafford.

A permanent summer transfer continues to be mooted, with the Red Devils academy graduate admitting that he will look for assurances over game time before making any decision on where he will be plying his trade in 2021-22.

What has been said?

Lingard told Sky Sports ahead of his return to pre-season training in Manchester: "Regular football is the most important thing for me.

"After going on loan and getting a good run in the team, you started to see the real me, with the goals and the assists.

"I've never doubted my ability, I've always believed in myself. I spoke to the manager (Ole Gunnar Solskjaer) in pre-season and said, 'I need game time'. He said, 'we can discuss it December time', and we spoke again and he agreed to let me go on loan.

"I had various conversations with him during my time at West Ham. He was very supportive and it was a great loan for me."

England snub

Jesse Lingard England 2021

While Lingard's efforts with the Hammers brought him back from the international wilderness and into a 33-man pre-Euros squad, he was cut from the final 26-man party.

That snub was hard to take, but the charismatic character has been cheering the Three Lions on from afar as they look to chase down continental glory.

Lingard said of being left out by Southgate: "It was emotional. You're sad and you're down, but you've got to respect the manager's decision.

"Me and Gareth have a great relationship, and now it's about supporting the boys."

He added on watching England edge past Croatia and draw with Scotland in their opening Group D fixtures: "I love watching England - I'm a fan myself. I enjoyed going to the beer garden to watch the first game.

"Last year, November time, I think no one thought I'd get near the team. But I worked hard, did well on loan and England came knocking.

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"I enjoyed the camp in March - it's always good to be back with the boys. I played in those games, and then coming up to the Euros, being involved in the 33-man squad was brilliant as well.

"I worked so hard to get there. I didn't get picked, but I'll always carry on supporting the boys."

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