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Manhester United starlet’s great summer keeps getting better

by Sam Peoples

Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard has been named in the England U21 squad for the first time ahead of their clash with Scotland at Bramall Lane next Tuesday.

The 20-year-old forms part of a 25-man squad which was selected by national team manager Roy Hodgson. The England coach is taking charge for the game on Tuesday before a new head coach will be in place for the start of the Euro qualifying campaign next month.

Warrington-born Lingard has risen through the ranks at Old Trafford developing under the tutelage of both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Warren Joyce along with U18s manager Paul McGuinness. Lingard was part of the 2010/11 United youth side which triumphed in the FA Youth Cup.

The attacking midfielder shined during Manchester United’s pre-season tour this summer. He netted twice in the 5-1 victory over the A-League All Stars in Sydney on 20 July – the first of which was United’s first goal under new boss David Moyes.

Three days later, Lingard netted again in a 3-2 defeat against Yokohama F. Marinos before he scored his fourth goal in as many games as United overpowered Kitchee SC.

“Hopefully I can come straight through. I believe in myself and I’ve got to start to believe in myself more day in and day out.” Jesse Lingard

Lingard had an impressive loan-spell at Leicester City last season and is hoping to break through into the United first-team in the coming seasons.

Born within a 15-mile radius of Old Trafford, Lingard was first capped by England at U17 level in the Nordic Tournament of 2008. More call-ups followed at U18 and U19 level, only for some unfortunately timed injuries to prevent him from earning further international honours.

Also earning his first call-up to the England Under 21s is centre-half Tom Thorpe.

Thorpe is Manchester United’s U21s captain and lifted the Barclays U21 Premier League trophy last year for United having previously led the 2010/11 FA Youth Cup triumph. His leadership skills have also been acknowledged at international level, where he captained England U19s to the Euro semi-finals of 2012.

Fellow Manchester United players Sam Johnstone and Michael Keane are also included in the squad.

Image: Twitter/ManUtd

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