Life at West Ham could not have gone much better for Jesse Lingard and the recalled England international has spoken of the “new lease of life” the loan move has given him.
Jesse Lingard said “It’s a bit like a new lease of life. I’ve moved to London, which is different, different group of lads – all the lads are brilliant at West Ham, they’ve welcomed me with open arms. The staff have been great and the whole club, the whole set-up is really good. I’m playing week, in week out and I’m doing something that I love so, for me, it’s been perfect.”
One of the key reasons Lingard sought a move away from Old Trafford was to get back playing regular football and prove he was still a player that England boss Southgate should consider.
Jesse Lingard said “I think [playing for England] was always in my mind. I love playing for my country. It’s just about believing and doing well for West Ham – scoring, assisting, winning games – and I think obviously you know that’s what warranted me a place here, just being on form.”
Lingard’s excellent start to life as a Hammer has seen Southgate reward him with a recall to the Three Lions squad and the England manager was pleased to have the midfielder back in his squad.
Gareth Southgate said “He’s only been back in the team at West Ham for a short period, but he’s played extremely well and we’ve got players missing in that area of the pitch who at this point might have been just ahead of him. But it’s a great opportunity for him and we have a lot of belief in Jesse. We know what a good player he is. He’s played well for England whenever he’s played and it’s good to see him back playing at club level with a smile on his face.
Lingard sought Southgate’s advice before opting for a move to West Ham and it seems Hammers fans owe the England manager a debt of gratitude for advising the 28-year-old to remain in the Premier League instead of heading abroad.
Jesse Lingard said “Gareth has shown a lot of support and a lot of belief in me. He was the first one to give me my England debut, which I’m proud of and I still kept in contact with him, even though I wasn’t playing, just to get his advice on what I should do. It was just on the right move, really. Whether it was about going out to Europe or staying in the Premier League and he said: ‘If I was you, I would stay in the Premier League. So, after that, I had to find a Premier League side and obviously, West Ham fit perfectly. We carried on speaking and then the loan happened, so I didn’t speak to him after the loan, it was just about me working hard for West Ham and trying to get the call-up, I just wanted to go out and play regular football and try and do the best I can and obviously the stats speak for themselves and all I can do is keep scoring goals, assist in helping a team and when England came knocking it was a brilliant opportunity.”
Lingard was brought straight into the West Ham starting XI and hit the ground running under David Moyes’ management, scoring twice on his debut as part of a 3-0 victory over Aston Villa. Since then the attacking-midfielder has scored another three goals and has two assists to his name. Lingard is now back in the England set-up for the first time since 2019 and will be hoping to make an appearance for the Three Lions against San Marino in the FIFA 2022 World Cup qualifiers this evening. The move to the London Stadium seems to have inspired Lingard to return to the form that saw him play a key role as part of Gareth Southgate’s team that reached the World Cup semi-finals in 2018.
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