Jesse Lingard started his first match in almost four months as Manchester United secured a 1-0 win over Watford in the FA Cup on Saturday.
The England midfielder played 80 minutes, before being replaced Nemanja Matic in the third round tie.
Lingard returned to the Manchester United starting XI against Watford on the weekend
Lingards performance drew praise from United teammate Scott McTominay.
He said: Jesse was so, so good, he was causing real problems. It is a credit to him.
He’s had a tough time Jesse and I am so pleased for him.
The ‘tough time’ McTominay is referring to has seen Lingards form drastically drop since starring in the 2018 World Cup, which saw England reach the semi-finals.
Jesse Lingard opens up about family issues in emotional interview and praises Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for being ‘totally understandable’
Leading up to the memorable tournament, Lingard had his best scoring season, netting 13 goals as United finished second in the Premier League.
And at his highest point even branded Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium his ‘dancefloor’ having scored their in the FA Cup and moonwalked in celebration.
Meanwhile, ex-Man United coach Rene Meulensteen insisted he was like Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta.
I worked with him from the age of eight or nine and taking him abroad for tournaments and he was always having to fight battles because he was of tiny build. But all things level themselves out and eventually those three things make a difference quick feet, a quick brain, and a big heart. And he has done every so well.
The fans always need to associate themselves with players who have come through the ranks. While I was there and Sir Alex was there it was so important to keep bringing young players through.
The difference with Jesse is that he was always the English version of Iniesta. He can play in the pockets, hes very mobile and very agile. He can beat a man and hes good in combination play. The last few seasons he started to score important goals as well.
Lingard being likened to the Bracelona great Iniesta may not have done him many favour
However, over the course of the last two-and-a-half seasons, the 28-year-old has only found the net nine times for his club.
Lingard revealed off-the-field issues, including his mothers battle with depression and looking after two younger siblings, had heavily impacted his form.
Linagrd scored at the 2018 World Cup for England in a 6-1 win over Panama
Its just really hard, especially when its family issues, Lingard told talkSPORTs James Savundra.
I had a lot to deal with at home and obviously youve got to play in front of 75,000 people each week.
And its kind of like I was numb, like I werent there. And the games were just passing me by because I had a lot of things on my mind.
Obviously were human so everyone thinks oh its sweet, youve got money and youre living in a nice house. But money cant buy happiness.
And your family is so important to you; you never want to see them hurt or get hurt. So for me, it was a difficult period and I was bottling a lot of things in at the time.
And I felt it was right to speak to the manager about certain things and it was good. He was totally understandable with me and we went through it and then obviously lockdown came.”
Lingard was a regular starter under former Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho
Lingard has made 210 appearances for Manchester United since coming through their academy and has undoubted talent
But he has found his first-team chances limited this season due to Bruno Fernandes form, along with having to self-isolate more than once because of coronavirus.
Lingard could leave Old Trafford this month, with reports claiming Inter Milan boss Antonio Conte wants to sign him on loan.
Conte has already raided United for Ashley Young, Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku since taking over in 2019.
The trio’s form has improved since moving to Italy – and Lingard could see the potential loan as a way to revive his career.
Last month, talkSPORT’s transfer guru Alex Crook revealed Lingard’s United days are likely to end.
He said: At the moment, hes not part of the journey. An exit either in January or the summer is inevitable.
There are plenty of Premier League clubs willing to give him the chance to relaunch his career.
Lingard has made just three appearances for Manchester United this season
At this stage, I understand Sheffield United are the ones who are most keen. Theyre in desperate need of creative spark, theyre really struggling for goals and wins this season.
I know Brightons technical director Dan Ashworth, who worked with Lingard at England, is a fan.
Then theres the David Moyes connection at West Ham. Newcastle and Steve Bruce are also paying close attention to his situation.
And what about Sam Allardyce? Would Lingard be the type of player that he believes could help West Bromwich Albion stay in the Premier League?
It may not be the fairytale ending to Lingard’s United career but a revival in Italy, or elsewhere, could see him back into the frame with England.

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