‘Jesse Lingard is still a big part of this squad’ - Solskjaer responds to transfer speculation

The Manchester United man has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford, although his manager still feels he has much to offer the team.

Jesse Lingard has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford. Credit: Getty.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said Jesse Lingard will be involved in Manchester United’s upcoming games, amid speculation that the No.14 wants to lave the club.

It was widely reported this week that Lingard has no plans to sign a new contract with United and could leave next summer for nothing.

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But when asked about that in Friday’s pre-match press conference, Solskjaer said he isn’t heavily involved in the discussions surrounding a potential new deal for the 28-year-old.

Lingard is reportedly a a target for Barcelona and AC Milan. Credit: Getty.

“Jesse is training really hard, really well, and he’s ready and available for me,” the United manager told reporters ahead of the clash with Watford at the weekend.

“He’s disappointed he’s not played more... Jesse is still an important part of this squad, he gives energy to the group every day.

“In regards to contract situations and talks, I’ve not been in them very closely. For me, Jesse is still a big part of this squad and important and he gives quality to the group every day.

“Every player wants to play as much as possible, with Jesse and all my players,” Solskjaer continued. “Jesse has done well when he’s played for us and with the games coming up he’s going to play a part.”

Lingard last started for United in the Premier League on New Year’s Day 2020. Credit: Getty.

How many games has Lingard played this season?

Lingard has played in eight of United’s 18 games this season, but most of those have been cameo appearances off the bench.

In fact, the midfielder has played just 63 minutes of Premier League football in 2021/22 and has scored twice in that time. Lingard has also played just 19 minutes in the Champions League.

The youth graduate has only started one club game this term, and that came in the League Cup defeat to his former side West Ham United.

His lack of game time has seen Lingard lose his spot in the England squad and he’s actually started more times for the Three Lions this season than he has for United.

Who do United face in the coming weeks?

Lingard will be hoping Watford could represent his first start of the season, when the Red Devils travel there on Saturday.

United then wrap up the month by playing Villarreal and Chelsea away, before December starts with three home matches against Arsenal, Crystal Palace and Young Boys, the last of which is the final game of the Champions League group.

Solskjaer’s side then face a relativity kind fixture list in the build-up to Christmas, when they face Norwich City, Brentford and Brighton & Hove Albion.