McLeish: This is what's 'Amazed' me about West Ham new boy Lingard
Alex McLeish has admitted he was “amazed” by Jesse Lingard’s performance for West Ham against Aston Villa.
The former Villa and Scotland boss, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, revealed he had tipped the 28-year-old to score goals in the Hammers side but admitted he was blown away by the loanee’s electric start.
Making his first Premier League start in over a year, Lingard netted twice against Dean Smith’s side to secure a 3-1 win and further boost the Irons’ hopes of a European spot next season.
He had not featured in the league at all for Manchester United during the first half of the season and was limited to just two League Cup runouts by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
McLeish has insisted he always had high hopes for the attacking midfielder at the London Stadium but admitted he did not see his debut going as well as it did.
Asked what he made of Lingard’s performance, McLeish told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: “I was amazed but it’s just the kind of thing that happens.
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“When you see Jesse’s gone to West Ham, all the Manchester United fans that have seen that happen are probably saying: ‘I bet he goes and scores a goal and he couldn’t do that for us in so many games.’ I was thinking the same as well.
“I could see Lingard coming into this West Ham team and scoring. Maybe there’s a bit of pressure of the expectations of Man United but he started at Man United like a house on fire.
“He’s been an England regular, you think back to the World Cup, he’s played so many games for England at a high level, played so many games for Man United and last night he’s gone a long way to recapturing that status again.
“He kind of lost his mojo a wee bit and the way he’s started at West Ham, you could see the joy he showed with his teammates and the self joy as well, almost like a huge cloud was lifted from the fella. That’s great.”
Lingard has a total of 134 Premier League appearances and 20 top-flight goals under his belt so far, as well as 24 caps for England.