Jesse Lingard ‘more important to West Ham than Declan Rice’ as Manchester United loanee nets solo goal of the season contender April 6, 2021 – Posted in: Soccer
Jesse Lingard continued his stunning return to form with a contender for solo goal of the season against Wolves.
Fresh off the back of a man-of-the-match display for England against San Marino, the Manchester United star, on loan at West Ham, ran from his own half to score at Molineux on Monday night.
The 28-year-old is back among the goals after two years of obscurity at Old Trafford – and if his previous five goals for the Hammers sent a message to Gareth Southgate, this latest one might’ve booked his seat on the plane for Euro 2020.
With just six minutes on the clock and West Ham looking to leapfrog Chelsea into the top four, Lingard collected the ball in his own half and started running.
Michail Antonio dragged a couple of defenders away and Lingard shifted the ball onto his left foot, a combination which sent the entire Wanderers defence in the wrong direction.
His dazzling run still left plenty to do – and Lingard came up with a finish to match, dinking the ball over Rui Patricio with his weaker foot.
Besides giving West Ham the lead, it silenced talk about the concerning injury to star man Declan Rice, which emerged on Monday.
Rice watched on in delight as Pablo Fornals made it two and Lingard went on another lovely run to set up Jarrod Bowen for West Ham’s third inside the opening 45 minutes.
The midfielder is set for a spell on the sidelines, and while that represents a major blow, talkSPORT host Andy Goldstein believes Lingard would be a bigger miss for the Hammers right now.
“I love Declan Rice, and if you take him out of the side, West Ham are going to be a lot weaker,” Goldstein said on Drive.
“But the way he’s playing at the moment, Lingard, I think it would be more of a disappointment if he was out for the next couple than Rice.
“I know Rice is irreplaceable, but Lingard gives them that lift up top.”
Given those comments were before kick-off, we wouldn’t mind a look at Goldstein’s lottery numbers this week.