During his interim tenure as Manchester United manager, Ralf Rangnick has only started Jesse Lingard once.
That occurred in a dead rubber in the Champions League against Young Boys, and he also nearly allowed Lingard to depart in the January transfer window.
Lingard has subsequently been reintegrated into the group but has only made brief appearances off the bench to demonstrate his abilities.
Rangnick, on the other hand, informed United’s official website ahead of tomorrow’s game against Leeds that he has been impressed with Lingard in training, as well as teammate Victor Lindelof, who returned to the starting lineup for the 2-0 win over Brighton on Tuesday.
“To begin with, it is fantastic and vital to have Paul back and accessible, but obviously we still have a high level of competitiveness,” Rangnick remarked.
“We have Fred, so we have enough players, and we have Jesse Lingard in good shape in training, so we still have a high level of competitiveness in every area of the field, of the pitch – whether it’s the backline, the midfield, or up forward.”
“So, right now, it’s difficult to decide and choose the appropriate players, but it’s better this way than having only 15 or 16 outfielders available.”
“He’s a top professional and he did well before he was ill and before he had the situation with his house,” he added of Lindelof. He will play from now on, and he is also a candidate to play so that we have enough guys in the center of defense with a lot of experience.”
United has a big week of games ahead of them with the Champions League returning, and it will be interesting to see what role Lingard plays in all of it.
It appears that he has not let the failure to reach an agreement on a January exit hinder his performance in training, and Rangnick may have wished to publicly congratulate him to help smooth things over.
Lingard’s absence from the FA Cup match against Middlesbrough earlier this month caused a schism between player and manager.
But he’s certainly back in contention again and training well, which bodes well, and the England midfielder will hope for more minutes in the upcoming games to show Rangnick what he’s capable of.