Jesse Lingard Delighted With Maiden Goal For England

Manchester United forward Jesse Lingard is pleased to have bagged his maiden England goal during Friday’s 1-0 win over the Netherlands in an international friendly. The victory ended the Three Lions’ 22-year wait for a victory over the Dutch, and this came about from a man of the match performance from Lingard, who scored the winner in the 59th minute of the game.

Speaking about his match-winning effort, he said: “It’s up there with my best moment. It’s always an honour, to score as well is a massive bonus. I took a bit of time, tried to concentrate on it and I tried to give the keeper the eyes.Of course, I want to start (in Russia). When you work hard you get the rewards so from now I will carry on working hard and see where it gets me.”

The 25-year-old played in a central attacking midfield role alongside Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, but it will be interesting to see whether he can sustain his position ahead of the World Cup, given the likes of Dele Alli and Jack Wilshere could have their say. Alli was only a second-half substitute in Gareth Southgate’s experimental lineup against the Dutch, whilst Wilshere was left out of the squad altogether in order to recover from a minor knee issue.

Lingard has not always been a favourite for club or country, but he has stepped up his game for Manchester United, in particular, this season, contributing 13 across all competitions. The club graduate has always had the potential of finding himself in goalscoring positions, but he has managed to improve on his finishing skills, which would often leave him disappointed in previous seasons.

There have been plenty of young talents rising through the England ranks this term, but there is a sense that the nation may have to wait for at least another World Cup before they can manage to field a regular string of players together.