Neville believes Lingard should be playing “40-45 games a season” and not still be at Manchester United following his winning goal against ex-club West Ham on Sunday
Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville insists Jesse Lingard made a mistake during the summer transfer window.
That is despite the midfielder scoring the winner goal against former team West Ham on Sunday.
Lingard’s 89th-minute strike was his second of the Premier League season after opting to remain at Old Trafford and reject the opportunity to return to the London Stadium.
The Irons were interested in re-signing the 28-year-old on a permanent basis, but Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was keen to keep the academy graduate in his ranks.
Neville, however, believes Lingard should have pushed for a move away in search of more regular game time.
He told Sky Sports : “I still maintain he should’ve left but he will have his moments. I was happy to see how he bounced back after what happened in Europe in midweek.
“To bounce back and score the winner is a fantastic moment for him. He’s got good character, he’s a very good player and I feel he should be playing 40-45 games a season,” the former United skipper said.
“He won’t get that at United in terms of 90-minute starts but he’s one of those players that I do feel United will benefit from having. I just thought for Jesse himself, he should’ve left. United could be a better team with someone like Lingard in it.”
Neville noted: “Others may be more exciting but can you create a brilliant team with all those attacking players whilst having balance in the team? It’s important to have those who are willing to run the other way.
” Chelsea have a good balance, but United at the moment don’t quite have that same balance.”
Solskjaer himself kept faith in Lingard following his error in the Champions League on Tuesday that led to BSC Young Boys scoring a late winner and give the Red Devils a wretched start to their group stage campaign.
“I’m so happy for him because you know it’s ups and downs in football,” the United manager told MUTV after bringing him on as a substitute for the fourth time this term.
“He was low on Tuesday, now high again, he scored against Newcastle, you’re up, you’re down, you’re up – but that’s football.
“You have to live with it and Jesse has learned how to deal with ups and downs in football. You know, if you play for Man United you have to live with it, be able to handle that scrutiny,” Solskjaer continued.
“Don’t worry about it because what we have to worry about is ourselves, what we do, what we say. We’re a group, we’re together, we work together, stick together through thick and thin. That’s never going to be any different. This is a family.
The Norwegian added: “It was a great goal. Of course, he had a tough evening on Tuesday but he’s knuckled down and worked hard again.
“He’s been the same bright, positive lad and what a goal. A great pass by Nemanja, a good turn by Jesse and a great goal.”