Jesse Lingard put in ‘same bracket’ as Kevin De Bruyne by outspoken pundit

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While you can kind of see where he’s coming from, Stan Collymore will raise some eyebrows with his statement on Jesse Lingard and Kevin De Bruyne.

Ahead of the highly-anticipated Manchester derby on Sunday evening, The Mirror columnist has given his take on who could prove to be crucial in the encounter.

Man City are eight points above Man Utd, and so a win for Pep Guardiola’s side at Old Trafford could be absolutely crucial in moving a step closer to securing the Premier League title.

While the visitors will naturally look to the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane, who have all been integral to their impressive start to the season in which they’ve won 14 of 15 league games, Collymore believes Lingard can be equally as important for United.

“Never did I think I’d put Jesse Lingard in the same bracket as Kevin De Bruyne and Leroy Sane,” he wrote for The Mirror.

“But if De Bruyne and Sane are the men most likely to make the ­difference for Manchester City this afternoon, then Lingard can be that man for Manchester United.

“No-one should underestimate the impact a local lad can have in a derby.”

There’s no denying that Lingard comes into the game in good form and with plenty of confidence, especially after bagging a crucial brace in the win at Arsenal last weekend.

However, he’s never even come close to breaking into double figures in scoring in a single campaign despite making over 40 appearances in each of the last two seasons, while De Bruyne has proven to be a real class act in pulling the City strings and producing moments of class with great goals.

Lingard will certainly appreciate the importance of this fixture more than others, but that doesn’t mean his quality is on a par with some of the players on the opposite side of the field. For that reason, we’ll have to respectfully disagree with Collymore’s assertion even though it’s partly understandable.

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