Manchester United playmaker Jesse Lingard has reiterated his desire for regular game time after flourishing with West Ham in the second half of the 2020/21 campaign.
Lingard joined the Hammers in January and proved to be a revelation in east London, hitting nine goals and adding four assists in 16 matches as the they sealed qualification for the Europa League.
Prior to his loan move, he struggled to break into United’s starting XI under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with several star names such as Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes occupying the current playmaking roles at Old Trafford.
Lingard, however, wants to ensure he is getting minutes on the pitch next season – whether that is at Man United or elsewhere.
“Regular football is the most important thing for me,” Lingard told Sky Sports.
“After going on loan and getting a good run in the team, you started to see the real me, with the goals and the assists.
“I’ve never doubted my ability, I’ve always believed in myself.”
West Ham were believed to be keen on signing the 28-year-old but were put off by United’s £40million valuation of the player.
And Lingard moved to explain how Solskjaer granted him his wish to leave.
He said: “I spoke to the manager [Solskjaer] in pre-season  and said, ‘I need game time’. He said, ‘we can discuss it December time’, and we spoke again and he agreed to let me go on loan.
“I had various conversations with him during my time at West Ham. He was very supportive and it was a great loan for me.”
Lingard’s impressive return to form earned him a recall to the England squad back in March, but he did not make the 26-man squad for Euro 2020 and he has admitted the snub made him ’emotional’.
“It was emotional,” he said. “You’re sad and you’re down, but you’ve got to respect the manager’s decision.
“Me and Gareth have a great relationship, and now it’s about supporting the boys.”