Lingard's 'fantastic' contributions to Man Utd praised by Solskjaer

The attacker has yet to register a goal or assist this season but his manager has hailed his contributions in other facets of the game

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has again come to the defence of attacker Jesse Lingard, declaring his contributions to Manchester United this season as ‘fantastic’.

Lingard has come in for criticism in recent weeks after failing to register a goal or assist in three starts this season for United.

The 26-year-old has not scored a goal in the Premier League since December of 2018, and following dropped points against Wolves and Crystal Palace in successive weeks, his presence in the United lineup has been questioned.

But Solskjaer claims to have no concerns over Lingard’s output, noting he’s never been known as a big goal scorer and says the England international contributes other qualities to the team.

“Jesse has never been the most prolific centre forward in front of goal,” Solskjaer told reporters.

“If you look throughout his career he has other attributes and Jesse’s contribution this season has been fantastic for me, his first day in training he has shown that he is determined to stay in the team, to show me that he wants to because [of] his application in training and in games.

“Of course sometimes you want him to be more [clinical] in front of goal but he does so much other stuff. I left him out against AC Milan, he scored when he came on, and he scored two the day after when we played Blackburn here.”

Despite his slow start to the season, Lingard was named in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for Euro qualifiers against Bulgaria and Kosovo alongside team-mates Marcus Rashford, Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

Solskjaer pointed to that as evidence of the fact Lingard can shrug off the critics and has the faith of his managers to provide quality for both club and country going forward.

“He can take criticism, [he has been] left out because he has the right character to bounce back so I don’t expect Jesse to be any different,” Solskjaer said.

“I pick him, Gareth picks him, he knows he is a good player and we value him.”

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