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‘Lingard has always had Iniesta attributes’ – Man Utd star suffering a slight ‘dent’, says Meulensteen

3:35 AM EST 2/7/20
Andres Iniesta Jesse Lingard
The ex-Red Devils coach, who worked with the England international at Old Trafford, believes form can be rediscovered by a player looking out of sorts

Jesse Lingard has always had “attributes” in his game similar to those of Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta, says Rene Meulensteen, with the Manchester United attacker enduring a slight “dent” in his confidence at present.

The England international has gone over 12 months without finding the target in the Premier League , with only two efforts recorded in Europa League and FA Cup outings this season.

Serious questions are now being asked of his value and future at Old Trafford, while the January arrival of Bruno Fernandes has provided further competition for places .

Meulensteen insists that Lingard remains capable of earning a long-term future with the Red Devils, with there no doubting his ability or attitude, and feels he merely needs a slice of luck.

The Dutchman helped to nurture the 27-year-old through United’s academy system, alongside the likes of Paul Pogba and Ravel Morrison, and retains full faith in his ball-playing qualities.

“Jesse had various loan clubs and then he came back,” Meulensteen told The Michael Anthony Show .

“And I think Louis van Gaal was the manager at the time and Louis was very big on bringing young players through and Jesse got the chance to suddenly play in the first team and so did [Marcus] Rashford.

“That's the luck that you need and certain managers can see it.

“Jesse always had attributes in his game as Iniesta had for Barcelona.”

Lingard has showcased that talent at times, becoming a regular for United and England in the process, but has been scratching around for form for over a year now.

Meulensteen admits as much, but feels it is down to the current coaching team and player himself to find a way of rediscovering a spark.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s former assistant added: “Jesse, in my opinion - and I think he knows it himself, he's a great kid - he's the sort of player that's so difficult for opposition teams to mark.

“I think it's more a confidence thing, you need to recognise as staff and coaches and say 'okay, when did you have the best games? When did you score the most goals? And why isn't it happening now?'

“Somewhere down that line there's a dent and you need to find that and what you can do to make sure the focus goes back.”

Lingard, who has found himself overlooked in recent England squads, has taken in 32 appearances for United across all competitions this season.