Manchester United won at Derby County today, 2-1, in their first preseason match of the season. (For the game news and notes go here). After the match Ole Gunnar Solskjaer dismissed the narrative that Jesse Lingard will be leaving the club this summer.
According to various reports at differing points of the summer, Lingard has been linked with Atletico Madrid, Tottenham and of course West Ham. The Hammers are reportedly very interested, and why shouldn’t they be, given how well he performed with them during his second half of the season loan spell.
Lingard re-ignited his then moribund career in East London, and that fine form has inspired him to stay at Old Trafford and try to win back a place in the team.
“Jesse has come back, been bright, he wants to fight for his place and there’s nothing better than seeing players want to fight for their place,” Solskjaer said.
“What he did towards the end of last season, that’s the true Jesse, that’s what we know he’s capable of and I think we saw towards the end that we lacked some options at times and Jesse is in the plans at the moment, yeah.”
It figures to be an extremely crowded attacking third with Lingard, Jadon Sancho, Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood, Edinson Cavani, Daniel James and Anthony Martial all looking for major playing time.
Elsewhere, OGS also said he also expects 19-year-old midfielder Facundo Pellistri, who scored today, to go out on loan again this season.
The Uruguayan spent the second half of last season on loan at Alaves.
Martial missed out today, which might fuel even more transfer rumor speculation. Ditto for Donny van de Beek, but the Norwegian says the duo are still recovering from injuries, and that’s the reason they did not play.
“They’re not ready yet,” OGS revealed.
“They’ll probably be 100% training with us a week on Monday. They’re still working hard to step into the group.”