Former Manchester United assistant Rene Meulensteen believes Jesse Lingard’s slump in form is down to confidence and urged United to reflect on the player’s history so he can rediscover his best form.
Lingard has failed to score a Premier League goal for over a year and is now being linked with a move away from his boyhood club.
But Meulenstein, Lingard’s former coach and mentor in the United youth system, told The Michael Anthony Podcast his drop in form has nothing to do with his attitude.
Meulensteen nurtured Lingard along with the likes of Paul Pogba and Ravel Morrison, before he became Sir Alex Ferguson’s assistant at Old Trafford.
“Jesse had various loan clubs and then he came back,” said Meulensteen, speaking about Lingard’s breakthrough into the United side.
“And I think Louis van Gaal was the manager at the time and Louis was very big on bringing young players through and Jesse got the chance to suddenly play in the first team and so did [Marcus] Rashford.
“That’s the luck that you need and certain managers can see it.
“Jesse always had attributes in his game as [Andres] Iniesta had for Barcelona.”
Meulensteen then addressed Lingard’s more recent form issues and responded to claims that the 27-year-old had become distracted by commercial duties and social media.
He added: “Jesse in my opinion – and I think he knows it himself, he’s a great kid – he’s the sort of player that’s so difficult for opposition teams to mark. I think it’s more a confidence thing, you need to recognise as staff and coaches and say ‘okay, when did you have the best games? When did you score the most goals? And why isn’t it happening now?’
“Somewhere down that line there’s a dent and you need to find that and what you can do to make sure the focus goes back.”