Lingard came on as a half-time substitute against Everton in United’s 3-0 victory at Goodison Park, replacing Juan Mata to add better defensive cover on the right side.
The 22-year-old played during pre-season, including a great goalscoring performance against Barcelona in a 3-1 win. However, the sub appearance against Everton was his first of the season, and first for United competitively since August 2014.
“The manager said he wanted me to stay and that he sees me playing games this season,” said Lingard.
“I think this won’t have done me any harm, hopefully. He trusts the youth, and we have to repay him by playing well.
“It’s great to be back and help the team in any way I can. Most importantly we got the three points and hopefully we can carry on to this week.”
The 22-year-old is at a stage in his career where it’s make-or-break at his boyhood club, who he joined at a young age and progressed through the youth ranks and became an FA Youth Cup winner at in the 2010/11 season.
Lingard has done well out on loan in recent seasons, at Leicester City, Brighton & Hove Albion as well as Derby County earlier this year. Yet instead of getting regular game time at another club, with interest from Sheffield Wednesday, he has stayed at United this season after manager van Gaal told him to, as he is an important part of the squad.
Lingard’s willing to be patient and take and appreciate chances when they come, a good sign.
He added: “I want to be doing this week in week out, playing for Man United,” he said. “But I have got to be patient and wait for my time and it’s great that I have got 45 minutes.”
Van Gaal praised the academy graduate after his first game of the season for the first time, and Lingard will now be hoping the U21s scene is long gone, with games for the United side clearly showing he is a class above everyone else in the U21s Premier League.