Lingard aims to impress

England Under-21 forward Jesse Lingard believes he has returned to Manchester United a better player after a season away on loan – and he aims to show that to new boss Louis van Gaal.

Lingard enjoyed loan spells with Birmingham City and Brighton and Hove Albion last term and impressed throughout, one of the highlights scoring four times on his Brum debut.

That followed his starring role in United’s pre-season tour last year, and the 21-year-old is hoping to continue to catch the eye after appearing as a second half sub in the 3-2 win over Roma on Saturday.

Jesse Lingard in action against Roma

Jesse Lingard in action against Roma

“We knew about the manager’s track record before he came to the club and how he promotes youth,” Lingard told ManUtd.com. “You’ve got to wait for your chance but make sure you take it when you get it. All the youngsters have been doing well and most have had a run-out so we’re all looking to progress from there.

“Training has been hard work but everyone has enjoyed it. We’ve been working on some new things which is good for us. We’re still adapting to how the manager wants to us to play and his structure but that’s something we’re enjoying.”

And looking back on a memorable year, he added: “I learnt so much from the loan spells last season. Playing in front of big crowds every week was great for my confidence and I was starting every game too against tough opposition. I think it’ll hopefully stand me in good stead for this season.

“My ambitions are just to do my best and break into the first team. I hope I can play some games in the cup competitions and in the league as well.

“There is a great spirit among everyone and we’re all working together. You want to be a part of a team like this.”