Jesse Lingard hit the ground running at West Ham with a brace on his debut in a 3-1 win over Aston Villa.
The academy graduate was expected to be an Old Trafford mainstay after scoring the first two goals of David Moyes’ reign as United manager in 2013. Now he finds himself playing under the same manager, but in London instead of Manchester.
The 28-year-old, who scored goals for the Red Devils in FA Cup and League Cup finals, fell down the squad pecking order following Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s arrival.
The Englishman joined West Ham on loan during the January transfer window after failing to make a single Premier League appearance for Manchester United this season.
Fortunately for Lingard, Moyes still seems to recognise the potential he showed as a youngster.
The West Ham boss awarded the attacking midfielder with his first start of the season against Aston Villa. And the England international returned the favor with a brace – his first in the Premier League since December 2018.
“The team has been great with me, I’ve settled in quickly.”
“I was smiling before the game, during the game, I just love football.”
Jesse Lingard is clearly loving being back playing football at West Ham ⚒
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 3, 2021
Would’ve been a bit awkward seeing Lingard score twice tonight if we hadn’t scored 9 (nine) goals last night 😂 pic.twitter.com/6Bvodxm819
— Scott Patterson (@R_o_M) February 3, 2021
Buzzing for Jesse man 👊🏽@JesseLingard
— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) February 3, 2021
Liverpool loss and the return of Messi Lingard pic.twitter.com/atc912g3qK
— Pøgba Senior (@TheSaItIsHere) February 3, 2021
— Abdul (@Abdulghaleiw) February 3, 2021
Lingard have rest of the season at the London Stadium to build on his lightning start and rejuvenate his career ahead of the delayed 2020 European Championships.
At the same time, if he delivers as per Moyes’ expectations, West Ham could end up getting the playmaker for a bargain fee, with his current contract at Manchester United expiring in June 2022.