Michael Carrick raves about Man United star: He’s now a big player for us

The Manchester United legend singles out Jesse Lingard for special praise

Manchester United coach Michael Carrick Photo: The Sport Review

Michael Carrick has credited Jesse Lingard with blossoming into a key player for Manchester United.

The 25-year-old managed to hold down a regular starting spot in Jose Mourinho’s team throughout the 2017-18 season despite increased competition for a starting spot.

Lingard was in prolific form throughout the Premier League campaign with a respectable return of eight goals and five assists in 33 appearances in the Premier League.

Only Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku and France international Anthony Martial scored more Premier League goals than Lingard for Manchester United last season.

Lingard has carried his form into the World Cup with two goals in England’s 6-1 win against Panama in the group stage to help the Three Lions secure their place in the round of 16.

Former Manchester United midfielder Carrick lavished praise on Lingard for his progress over the past 12 months or so for both club and country.

“I remember watching Jesse over on the back pitches [at the Aon Training Complex] when he was a young lad,” Carrick told Man United’s website.

“He must have been 15 and I was seeing this tiny little kid running around. You could see then the ability he had – his movement, awareness and all that sort of stuff.

“It was just about his physicality and giving him time to develop. You can’t give enough credit to the staff behind the scenes for letting him take his own time to develop and nurturing him in different ways. Now, obviously we’re getting the rewards from that. He had a great season [in 2017/18], scoring a lot of goals and he is now a big player for us.”

Manchester United finished in second place in the Premier League table last season ahead of Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool FC, Chelsea FC and Arsenal.

The Red Devils ended up 19 points adrift of Premier League champions Manchester City in the title race to highlight the gap between the derby rivals.

Manchester United haven’t won the Premier League title since 2013.

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