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Juan Mata: Jesse Lingard has matured as a player for Manchester United this season

by Marwan Harraz

Manchester United’s Juan Mata has praised his teammate Jesse Lingard for showing maturity as a player this season for the club.

The England international has managed to score 10 goals and notch up five assists across all competitions for the Red Devils so far.

Having started the season as a back-up player, Lingard has impressed with his fight and determination to become a first teamer for his boyhood club.

The versatile attacker took advantage of his starts in the Carabao Cup and put in enough consistently encouraging performances to convince Jose Mourinho to give him an opportunity in the Premier League.

Mourinho duly obliged and Jesse continued his red hot form with not just the media complimenting him but his teammates too, including fellowing attacker Mata.

Speaking to MUTV, Juan said: “We are really pleased for him. I know he’s a Manchester guy – he came through the Academy, he knows the club and what it’s like to be a United player.

“He’s been with us in the first team for a few seasons now and this season he’s really scoring and playing his best football and playing with confidence.

“I think he’s matured as a player and we are very happy with him because he’s helping the team with important goals.”

Jesse Lingard has had to put up with a fair bit of competition in this Manchester United squad but his versatility has proven useful.

Although he now features in his preferred position as an attacking midfielder, the academy product has had to deal with spells as a winger and even wing-back at one point.

Juan Mata, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and occasionally Ashley Young all represent Lingard’s so called positional rivals.

Despite the numbers, he’s managed to come out on top and has been United’s most impressive player of late, even winning over some sections of the club’s own fans.

In the recent clash against Everton, Jesse managed to get himself on the scoresheet again, curling in a beautiful effort to help the Red Devils feel a little more comfortable about the result of the match.

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