Jesse Lingard reveals Gareth Southgate advice about West Ham loan from Manchester United and opens up on ’emotional’ England return
Jesse Lingard has revealed advice from England manager Gareth Southgate played a part in his loan move to West Ham.
The Manchester United star, on loan at West Ham since January, has regained his form in east London following two years in the wilderness at Old Trafford.
Five goals and two assists in his opening seven Premier League games for the Hammers have earned him a recall to the England senior side for the upcoming internationals against San Marino, Albania and Poland.
At 28, there were many who thought Lingard’s international days were over, but not Southgate.
The England boss, who is responsible for all 24 of Lingard’s international caps to date, remained in touch with the forward and advised him how to work his way back.
Lingard had numerous loan offers from clubs across Europe, but reveals that Southgate recommended staying in the Premier League.
“He’s shown a lot of support and belief in me, he gave me my England debut, which I’m proud of,” Lingard told talkSPORT.
“I still kept in contact with him even though I wasn’t playing, just to get his advice on what I should do.
“It was just about the right move, whether it was going out to Europe or staying in the Premier League.
“He said, ‘If I was you, I would stay in the Premier League’. After that, it was about finding a Premier League side and West Ham fitted in perfectly.”
A difficult period off the pitch, including his mother’s battle with depression, makes this return all the more joyous for both him and his family.
The forward insists continued belief in himself through those tough times, as well as hard work, earned him the right to come back.
On the moment he heard the news, Lingard added: “It was amazing, even for my family. It was emotional and it’s been a long time coming.
“I’ve had to work hard and graft, and I still believe in myself to play at the highest level. If you work hard, you get the rewards in the end.
“Things happen off the pitch which can affect your performances, when I went on loan to West Ham I had a load of targets written down, and I’ve already hit certain ones already.
“It’s just about having the right mindset and focus.”
England vs San Marino is live on talkSPORT this Thursday at 7.45pm!