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Manchester United's Jesse Lingard targets regular spot in Louis van Gaal's team

Published 19/10/2015

Jesse Lingard joined United's famed youth system aged seven
Jesse Lingard joined United's famed youth system aged seven

Jesse Lingard wants to satisfy his thirst for first-team football after making his first Manchester United appearance of the season at the weekend.

Lingard replaced Juan Mata at half-time on Saturday and played the second half of United's 3-0 win over Everton at Goodison Park.

It was the first time the 22-year-old had played for United since suffering a serious knee injury on his debut against Swansea on the opening day of last season.

Upon his return, Lingard was sent on loan to Derby, but the midfielder played a significant part in United's pre-season tour after returning from Pride Park and is now hoping to gain more minutes under Louis van Gaal this term.

"I want to be doing this week in, week out, playing for Man Utd," the United midfielder said after the victory on Merseyside.

"I have got to be patient and wait for my time. But it's great that I got 45 minutes against Everton.

"For the first 10 minutes I was blowing a bit, but I got my second wind and then got comfortable.

"It's great to be back and help the team in any way I can."

Lingard enjoyed a good pre-season with United, playing in each of the four games in the United States.

The highlight of his tour was scoring in a 3-1 win over Barcelona in front of 68,416 people in Santa Clara.

It was not the first time he has impressed in pre-season. The midfielder was one of the best performers on David Moyes' first tour, and under Van Gaal in 2014, but on both occasions he was then loaned to Championship clubs upon his return to England.

After returning from the US this summer, Lingard held talks with Van Gaal about his future and the message he received from the United boss was a positive one.

"The manager said he wanted me to stay, and that he sees me playing games this season and I think Saturday won't have done me any harm, hopefully," said Lingard, who has been at United since he was seven.

"He trusts the youth, and we have to repay him by playing well."

Lingard felt the victory over Everton was the perfect way to respond following the humbling 3-0 loss at Arsenal just before the international break.

He said: "It's always good to bounce back with a win, especially away to Everton.

"On our day we can beat anyone when we put our minds to it. We want to win 3-0, 4-0, and 5-0."

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