Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard has had to withdraw from today’s matchday squad against Everton after testing positive for Covid-19.
Lingard’s hopes of forcing his way into manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s plans for the start of the season took a massive step backward today as the news was announced.
Not only will it rule the England man out of today’s friendly against Everton, but it will also mean he is unavailable for next week’s Premier league opener against Leeds.
Really gutted to have tested positive after a good pre season, luckily I feel fine and will follow the guidelines and be back with the boys on pitch very soon! Thank you for your support ❤️
— Jesse Lingard (@JesseLingard) August 7, 2021
This will come as a bitter blow to the player, whose career was rejuvenated during a loan spell at West Ham in the second half of last season.
Solskjaer has since spoken of his admiration for the player and hinted that he was in his first team plans for 2021-22.
This setback does not make that impossible but it is not the start that Jesse would have hoped for, especially as he stood to start the Leeds game as others battled for match fitness.
Martial, Maguire and Shaw confirmed starters for @ManUtd. Lingard out after positive COVID test.
— Simon Stone (@sistoney67) August 7, 2021
Martial is another player who is desperate to get off to a good start this term and put the disappointments of 2020/21 behind him.
After a fantastic season in 2019/20, Martial struggled for form and goals last season and then suffered a ruptured knee ligament in March that kept him out of the run-in and out of the French side for Euro 2020.
With Edinson Cavani not due to report to training until Monday, Martial could force his way into the starting lineup for the Leeds game with a good showing today.