Manchester United forward Jesse Lingard has insisted that his long-term injury picked up at the start of the 2014/15 season was down to him.
Lingard was given his first-team debut by Louis van Gaal in the Dutch manager’s first competitive game.
Yet just thirty minutes into the clash against Swansea City in August 2014, Lingard had to be taken off with an injury after stretching too hard in a challenge with Ashley Williams.
His first-team chance that season was gone after it had all started so well. He was loaned out to Derby County after recovering but has now returned and is making his mark for van Gaal again, scoring against West Bromwich Albion in Saturday’s 2-0 win at Old Trafford.
“I think it was my fault,” Lingard said.
“I dived in. I was excited and it was a new step for me. But all the physios have been absolute quality with me. It was kind of a stressful time for me as well, being out for a long time. It was probably the first injury I’d had that had kept me out for that sort of period of time but all my family and all my friends supported me and, like I said, the physios were great with me.”
Lingard’s excellent work-rate combined with good skill has seen him make four appearances this season. It’s unlikely Lingard will replicate the career path of Ryan Giggs or Cristiano Ronaldo but that work-rate, and the willingness to fulfill his defensive duties, to sacrifice himself for the team, will stand him in good stead at United.