BBC Sport pundit Jermaine Jenas believes that Jesse Lingard has to form part of Gareth Southgate’s starting XI at the 2018 World Cup.
Lingard started only one Premier League game before late-November, but has since become crucial part of Jose Mourinho’s first team.
The midfielder has scored eight league goals in three months, including the winner against Chelsea on Sunday.
Speaking to BBC Sport, Jenas said that he thinks Lingard is a problem for Mourinho because he has to find space for him in the team. Yet he went further, believing Lingard deserving of an England starting place.
“Lingard might not be able to get into the United side but he should be nailed on for England. He is at the point now where he has to start for Gareth Southgate’s side at this summer’s World Cup,” Jenas said.
“When you watch what he is doing and the positions he picks up, you notice the intelligence that he shows – not only on the ball but with the runs that he makes off it.”
“Then there is the number of goals he is scoring – 10 in his past 18 appearances since the end of November – and you think how can he not start with the way he is playing.”
With Dele Alli, Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane likely to be England’s first-choice front three if Southgate goes 3-4-3, it’s hard to see where Lingard fits in.
Should Jesse Lingard start for England at the World Cup?
Jermaine Jenas thinks so.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) February 27, 2018