Last Wednesday night, Jesse Lingard enjoyed an impressive debut for West Ham United, guiding the Hammers to a 3-1 victory over Aston Villa. The 28-year-old left Manchester United to join West Ham on loan until the end of the season and reflected on how easy it was to adapt to life in the capital thanks to Michail Antonio and Declan Rice. Lingard rose through the ranks at Manchester United’s famous youth academy, making his debut for the club in 2011. He became a regular member of Manchester United’s first team in the 2015-16 season under Louis van Gaal.
During his time at Old Trafford, he helped the club win the UEFA Europa League, FA Cup, FA Community Shield, and the EFL Cup. However, he had a steep fall from grace since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over the reins at the club. A lack of form combined with the rise of Mason Greenwood and Daniel James saw Lingard fall down the pecking order at the club, as the Red Devils continued to improve in his absence. Lingard left United to join West Ham on loan until the end of the season in search of regular playing time. He made his first Premier League start in 13 months on Wednesday night and scored two goals in a 3-1 victory over Aston Villa.
“Three points is the most important thing, the team worked hard as a collective and we think about the next one against Fulham. The team has been great with me, I have settled fairly quickly and some familiar faces help.”
Lingard got off to a flying start at West Ham United. He is expecting to take time to settle with the Hammers, given that he was starved of regular playing time at Manchester United over the last couple of seasons. However, he impressed on his debut with a match-winning brace and looks set to be a key player for David Moyes in the second half of the season. Lingard revealed that he has already formed a connection with Michail Antonio and Declan Rice and admitted that it is easy for him to play with the English duo.
“In training, we have that connection and built it up fairly quickly. On matchday, it is fairly easy to play with Michail Antonio and Declan Rice. I started tonight, scored two goals, and got three points. I was smiling before the game and during. I just enjoy playing football.”
“It has been a long time, I have come here to get game time and scored two goals but as I said, three points is the most important.”