Jesse Lingard couldn’t have got off to a better start on his loan move to West Ham as he seeks to rekindle his flagging Man United career.
The 28-year-old has struggled to get game time at United over the past year and has become a fringe player under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The Norwegian reportedly recently axed Lingard from his core 22-man squad, leaving the England international little choice but to seek a loan to gain minutes on the pitch and former boss David Moyes, now at West Ham, came knocking.
Moyes put Lingard straight into the starting lineup and his faith was rewarded with a fantastic brace. Lingard broke from the left to strike after 56 minutes and from the right on the 83rd. Villa keeper Emiliano Martinez got something on both efforts but it was not enough on either occasion to prevent the goal.
Lingard, who is only the second player to score twice on his Premier League debut for West Ham, won BBC Sport’s Man of the Match and was singled out for praise by Moyes after the game.
‘It is great when you bring someone in and they do well,’ the Hammers’ boss said.
‘If he keeps up the form he showed tonight, and he is not completely match fit, scoring the goals, he will not be far away from Gareth Southgate’s England squad in the summer.
‘He will help us no end before the summer. All round a really great performance.’
Lingard himself was happy with his performance.
‘I started tonight, scored two goals and got three points. I was smiling before the game and during, I just enjoy playing football,’ he told BT Sport.
‘It has been a long time, I have come here to get game time and scored two goals but like I said, three points is the most important.’