Lingard, 22, scored the opening goal for Man United in their 2-0 win over West Brom and his goal game at a time where we were struggling to break down their organised and resolute defence.
It was a very accomplished finish and one which particularly pleases van Gaal because of how Lingard improved himself in training this season.
Speaking about Lingard, van Gaal said: “Of course, it was again a fantastic goal because Jesse Lingard scored his first goal today. In the training session earlier this week, he had these chances but shot directly, I told him to control the ball first because with that touch you have more of a feel of the ball – he did today it and scored a fantastic goal. I’m very happy for him, he deserves it because I think he played very well. I’m a happy manager today.
“We played three games in a row without scoring a goal, though we had more than enough chances. That’s why you look for solutions and one of those was to bring Jesse into the team.”
Fair play to Jesse. He’s been given an opportunity and grabbed it with both hands, to the point where he is arguably one of the first names on the team-sheet as part of United’s attack. A goal and an assist in his last two games, especially with United struggling so much in front of goal, says a lot about how influential he has been.
While Memphis Depay has struggled with life in the Premier League so far this year, Lingard has taken to it like a duck to water and seeing another academy graduate adapt so well to top flight football is always fantastic to see.