Fernandes feels Lingard has been best in Premier League during electric West Ham spell

By Chris Myson 11 May 2021 198
Fernandes feels Lingard has been best in Premier League during electric West Ham spell

Bruno Fernandes has hailed Jesse Lingard for his spectacular form with West Ham and feels he has been the best player in the Premier League for a spell this season.

Lingard joined West Ham on loan from Manchester United in January having not featured in the Premier League under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer since the start of the campaign.

He has racked up nine goals and three assists in 13 matches since his move, earning a return to the England squad in the process.

Fernandes has been thrilled to see Lingard thrive, saying everyone at United is delighted for him.

"If you see Jesse, I think Jesse, at the moment, if you watch the last 10 games, has been top, top, top level," Fernandes said to Inside United magazine.

"For me, if you watch the last 10 games, he's been the best player in the Premier League, scoring and assists in every game. 

"Everyone here is really, really happy for him. 

"He has confidence back, he has his swag back, because he is feeling confident. 

"We are really, really happy for what he is doing."

Jesse Lingard expected goals (May 11)

Fernandes hailed Lingard during an answer in a fan Q&A, having been asked who the best non-United players in the Premier League had been in 2020-21, with awards season fast approaching.

The Portugal international, who said he watches a lot of football in his spare time, named 10 players including Lingard, with three from rivals Manchester City getting a mention.

Mohamed Salah, Harry Kane, Raphinha, Patrick Bamford, Mason Mount and Jack Grealish have also caught the eye of Fernandes.

Fernandes added: "In the Premier League, you have a lot of good players and it is difficult to choose one. 

"For me, being the best player in the Premier League, you have to be the best from since we started to the end, and not coming and start playing in December or January and start doing well in that moment.

"The ones who were doing well before everyone forgets because those are doing better at this moment. 

"To be the best player, you have to be consistent, try to be the best that you can for the longest time you can. Honestly, it's difficult to choose one player to be the best.

"Of course, we all know the qualities that our rivals have. I think we can say this season, for me, as everyone knows Kevin De Bruyne is one of the best for me. 

"If we go to the Liverpool squad, for example, I think Salah, if you say he's playing well or not, he's still scoring goals.

"Harry Kane is still doing really well in the Tottenham team, for example. I think Raphinha of Leeds is doing very well. It's difficult to choose one. 

"Ilkay Gundogan, from the half of the season from December, started doing really well. Ruben Dias has come from Benfica and been consistent since he arrived.

"In our team, we also have players who have been consistent for all the season and I really like Mason Mount – he's been consistent from the beginning of the season but, if people will watch numbers he's not had so many goals as other players or assists as other players but, for me, as a performance he's been really, really top. 

"Grealish, before his injuries, was being really, really good. I think Bamford from Leeds is also scoring a lot of goals, 15 this season already, which is really good.

"I will be here for a lot of time doing names, names, names. It's better I stop or I will forget players and I don't want to do that!"

United are in action against Leicester City at Old Trafford on Tuesday amid a hectic fixture calendar, while Lingard and West Ham do not play again until they meet Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday.

Defeat for United would hand Manchester City the Premier League title, although the club are unbeaten in their last 12 top-flight meetings with the Foxes.

Solskjaer's side are seeking a fifth straight home win in the competition for the first time since March 2018 when they were managed by Jose Mourinho.

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Chris Myson