The start Jesse Lingard has made to his West Ham career has caught many by surprise but not it seems former Hammer’s defender Rio Ferdinand who described the attacking-midfielders form as “amazing”.
Lingard has scored five goals and assisted three in just seven starts in the claret and blue. His impact for West Ham was highlighted in his absence in the two games he has missed due to being ineligible to face his parent club Manchester United.
On both occasions, the Hammers looked blunt in attack and failed to create many chances let alone put the ball in the back of the net.
Ferdinand has revealed that he was one of the few who backed Lingard to return to his best following his difficult spell out of the Manchester United team.
“I’ve argued with pundit after pundit, on-air, and off-air. He could play in any top team because he’s an intelligent footballer. He can play off one touch or two touch,” Ferdinand said on Five.
“He gets judged on his antics on social media. Some people it rubs them up the wrong way, and they don’t like him because of it and a lot of the youngster generation love it.
“But if you’re looking at him as just a cold footballer, anyone who knows football surely has to see the kid has a talent.”
Lingard’s form at West Ham has not only impressed Hammers manager David Moyes but also grabbed the attention of the England boss Gareth Southgate. Lingard’s fine start at the London Stadium has seen the 28-year-old brought back into the England fold by Southgate for the first time since 2019.
Speaking after West Ham’s 3-3 draw with Arsenal on Sunday Lingard revealed that the key to his success at the Hammers was down to his preparation whilst out of Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s plans in Manchester:
“The whole time I was there and not playing I was doing extra training and keeping on top of my fitness for when the time was right.
“So for me, it’s about working hard and staying dedicated, and I went back to basics,” he told Sky Sports.
Whether Lingard will line up for West Ham next season remains to be seen. Moyes denied the club have looked into a permanent move for the midfielder but his importance to the team has indicated a move would be welcomed by all at the London Stadium, particularly if the Hammers can offer him European football next term.
There is no option to buy clause in Lingard’s loan deal so any move for the England international is still to be negotiated between the two clubs.