Louis van Gaal hints that Jesse Lingard’s long-term future could be in a central role

by Tanveer Arayan


Louis van Gaal has hinted that Jesse Lingard’s long-term future could be in a central role following Manchester United’s 1-0 win over Manchester City on Sunday.

Lingard has largely been deployed on the right-wing by van Gaal this term but the 23-year-old played in the No.10 position against Liverpool and City last week.

Against City, Lingard’s direct running and intelligence on the pitch helped Man United secure a big three points, with Marcus Rashford scoring the winner. Van Gaal believes Lingard could thrive in a central position.

“That is why I have put him there but sometimes also I need a right winger who is fast,” van Gaal said.

“It’s also dependable on the opponent and the game plan, but I think Jesse is more of a midfielder than a right winger. He played there two times very well.”

Van Gaal has used a number of players at No.10 over the course of the campaign, with the likes of Ander Herrera, Juan Mata, Memphis Depay, Wayne Rooney and Marouane Fellaini all spending time there.

Unfortunately, United don’t appear to have a player with the athleticism of a Mesut Ozil or David Silva, who can unlock defences with a swift and decisive pass. Lingard’s intelligent movement could give him an edge in the role and it will be interesting to see if van Gaal sticks with him there.

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