Manchester United could be tempted to give Jesse Lingard another chance at Old Trafford amid his fine showings for West Ham. The England international has been in sensational form for the Hammers, managing eight goal involvements from as many matches. So Express Sport will now take a look at how the Red Devils could line up if they welcome him back, deploy the playmaker alongside Bruno Fernandes and make three signings in the summer transfer window.
United have a new No 1 in town.
While David De Gea has been a top asset for the club over the years, the Spain international has now fallen down Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s pecking order.
And that’s because of Dean Henderson.
United have been impressed by the England international’s showings this term, with his distribution particularly endearing.
And he’s poised to be their first-choice goalkeeper until the end of the campaign, barring any negative developments.
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Defence: Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Varane, Shaw
Most of United’s defence picks itself these days.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw are both regulars at right-back and left-back, kicking on this term under Solskjaer’s guidance.
Harry Maguire will always start at centre-back as the club’s captain – and second most-expensive signing of all time.
But United want another defender to go alongside their skipper.
And given how they’ve admired Raphael Varane for a decade, and the France international could leave the Bernabeu this summer, it’s feasible he’ll move to Old Trafford.
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Midfield: Fred, Fernandes, Lingard
United could still lose Paul Pogba this summer, with Juventus keen to land the 27-year-old at the end of the campaign.
He’s yet to sign a new contract and, with his current deal expiring in 2022, it’s certainly possible he’ll jump ship.
Should that happen, it could benefit Lingard.
The England international may be deployed alongside Fernandes in the middle of the park, with Fred operating behind them.
That would give United solidarity and creativity in equal measure.
Forwards: Dembele, Haaland, Rashford
United are unlikely to sign two Borussia Dortmund players in the same window, regardless of whether or not the Bundesliga giants qualify for the Champions League.
So if they’re to land just one, their preference would be Erling Haaland.
The Borussia Dortmund striker is wanted by many top European clubs and Solskjaer is craving a reunion with the forward, who has scored 31 goals in the Bundesliga and Champions League combined.
With the club also wanting a right-winger, they still admire Ousmane Dembele.
And both players would be impressive alongside Marcus Rashford in attack.
Neville speaks out on Lingard
Gary Neville fears Lingard may have to accept a bit-part role at United if he’s to return.
“If Jesse wants to play, and you can see he does want to play, then he needs to leave, because he’s not going to play every single week for a Manchester United team that’s competing for second or first place in the league,” he said.
“But if he’s willing to go back there and compete and be the player that Dan James has been for the last few weeks, in and out, then there’s no doubt he can play for Manchester United.”
Neville spoke out after Lingard scored for West Ham in their 3-2 win over Wolves.
And that result has moved the Hammers into the top four.