It may be easy to forget that Jesse Lingard was a regular for Manchester United and one of England’s christened heroes as they reached the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup.
Unfortunately, following those dizzy heights, it has been a downward trajectory for the Warrington-born midfielder.
Dealing with a plethora of challenges away from the field, Lingard was unable to recapture his previous form and subsequently sealed a loan move to West Ham last month in order to receive regular game time.
Already, serious signs of a rekindled expertise are being displayed in glimmering fashion. In only four appearances for the Hammers, the 28-year-old has registered three goals, two of which came on his debut away to Aston Villa, guiding the Londoners to a 3-1 victory.
Truthfully, it is a serving testament to Lingard’s stark upturn in fortunes that he already has three times as many goals as he recorded over the duration of the 2019-20 campaign.
After yet another sparkling display against cross-city rivals Spurs, the Manchester United academy product is showing little indication of deceleration.
Regardless of your affinities, it is hard not to be please for Lingard. By all accounts, he possesses an infectious aura of buoyancy and exuberance, coupled with an undisputed passion and joy towards the game.
And David Moyes, who briefly managed Lingard during his reign at Old Trafford, has rightfully sung the Englishman’s praises as of late.
“We always try and do as much homework as possible on the players we want to bring to the club, and I knew Jesse from my time at Manchester United,” said the Scotsman.
“First and foremost, his character and attitude to the game is good and maybe he has a bit to prove. He’s always had good energy levels and a good work-rate and that’s something I always remembered,” he added.
“He’s scored some fine goals for Manchester United; he’s become an England International, had a good career and he still has a long way to go. He has an opportunity to show what he is- and what he can be.
“Jesse has also given our players a lift. When you are trying to improve clubs, the squad needs to see that the players who come in will help them. I believe he has demonstrated that after just three games so far”.
Bringing an added sense of energy, quality and flamboyant flair into the Hammers’ midfield, Lingard has, for me, been the greatest success thus far out of any January acquisitions across the division – and by some distance, too.
Over the last couple of years, Lingard emerged as a prominent symbol of criticism within English Football, both from his own fans and other supporters.
Though as a real illustration of his personal resilience, the former Derby County man has shouldered the criticism and has strove for improvement, quickly re-earning plaudits for his enthralling displays in the capital.
Many argued that Norwegian boss Ole Gunnar Solskjær failed to believe in Lingard and give him enough opportunities in the side.
But in David Moyes, Lingard has a manager who instils faith and trust in his talents. Ultimately, that expression of confidence and belief is precisely what he needs – and it is little wonder why under a license of assurance, the rewards have been fruitful.