Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown believes Jesse Lingard could play an influential role for Manchester United during this weekend’s derby versus Manchester City.
The England international has experienced his best form in the United shirt this term, and this has contributed to him to scoring 14 goals across all competitions.
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s Manchester derby, Keown highlighted that Lingard could hold key to achieving a positive result on the road to the Citizens.
He said: “Energy is what United need, they need someone to really press and hassle City’s midfield. Jesse Lingard has to play, he can provide that energy and enthusiasm.”
United can expect a strong response from City following their Champions League humbling at the hands of Liverpool in midweek, and this could witness Mourinho opting for a defensive approach.
Back in December, Lingard’s link-up play and movement ran Arsenal’s defence ragged on the counter at the Emirates, and a similar tactic may be utilised versus City, who should command the possession.
Lingard had one of his best first-half performances during the Swansea triumph last weekend, and United need to have a solid base from the back to the midfield first to make the best use of the attacker’s penetrating runs.