Jesse Lingard has told Sky Sports that he has fulfilled Sir Alex Ferguson’s prophecy by making the grade in Manchester United’s first term.
The 23-year-old has revealed that the former Red Devils manager predicted that he would establish himself at Old Trafford at exactly this time.
He told Sky: “I remember him meeting me and my family at Old Trafford and he said, ‘At 22/23, Jesse will come of age and be a Manchester United player’. Now that’s what happened, so thank you Sir Alex.”
Lingard’s breakthrough, which has earned him a call-up to the England squad, is one of the few bright points of a disappointing season at United.
The Warrington-born winger has become a regular for Louis van Gaal of late, making 10 Premier League starts and scoring four goals this campaign.
There have been few other positives, with United dumped out of the Champions League at the group stage and poised to finish outside of the top four.
But success is engrained in Lingard’s childhood memories of his boyhood club – he joined United at eight years old – and he is determined for the good times to return.
“Success is pretty much all I remember,” he told Sky. “I remember [Ole Gunnar] Solskjaer scoring to win the Champions League and [Ryan Giggs] Giggsy’s famous run against Arsenal,”
“Over the years United have won plenty of trophies but lately we’ve not been doing it. We need to get back to that. Manchester United need to be in the Champions League.”
Lingard is in line to start when United host Arsenal at Old Trafford in the Premier League on Sunday, when he will hope to have his own Ryan Giggs moment.
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