Manchester United

Jesse Lingard 'unhappy' with lack of playing time at Man Utd

Jamie Spencer
Jesse Lingard has only started one game for Man Utd this season
Jesse Lingard has only started one game for Man Utd this season / Alex Livesey - Danehouse/Getty Images

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted that Jesse Lingard is ‘unhappy’ with his lack of playing time so far this season.

Lingard returned to United over the summer following an impressive loan at West Ham in the second half of last season that reignited his stalling career. But his only start for United since then has come in the Carabao Cup defeat against his former loan club.

Lingard, who didn’t play for United in the Premier League at all in the first half of last season and had been slipping more and more out of favour since 2019, has almost exclusively had to make do with substitute appearances since returning to Old Trafford.

A costly error against Young Boys on Champions League matchday one aside, Lingard’s impact when he has come off the bench has been positive. He finished a fine team goal in a thrashing of Newcastle, netted the late winner against West Ham in the Premier League and provided the all-important assist for Cristiano Ronaldo to win it against Villarreal in the Champions League.

There are no guarantees that this latest impact will land him a starting spot when United host Everton in the Premier League at the weekend because his other performances haven’t so far.

“Jesse is unhappy at not playing more. But you come on and make an impact. That’s what you do when you’re a sub at this level,” Solskjaer told reporters after the Villarreal win.

The Norwegian, who built his reputation as a player on being a ‘super sub’, knows that role well.

With regard to his future, Lingard is keeping his options open. He opted to return to Manchester from his West Ham loan to fight for his place and 90min has previously revealed that he intends to give himself until January to earn a more permanent place at United.

At that point, the 28-year-old will make a more informed decision about whether he still has a long-term future at the club he first joined aged seven.

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