Jose Mourinho believes that Jesse Lingard is making the jump to become “a very good player” at Manchester United.
The in-form forward took his tally to 10 goals this season in all competitions with a stunning strike from the edge of the box late on to seal the Reds’ 2-0 victory at Everton on New Year’s Day.
It’s already his best-ever goalscoring campaign since stepping into the first team in the 2014/15 season and the no.14 has been sensational, particularly since switching to a central attacking position in the last few weeks.
When asked about Lingard’s excellent progress this season after the win at Goodison Park, Mourinho feels the 25-year-old, who is becoming an increasingly influential figure for the Reds, is going “in a good direction” in his career.
“These boys – they either jump or they don’t jump,” the boss told Sky Sports. “It’s one thing to be a young talent, and another thing is to be a very good player.
“Some players are not capable to do that jump. They go from great potential young players to normal players. I think Jesse is making that jump.
“He is being more consistent, he is adaptable, he understands better the game, he understands the different spaces and positions. I think he is going in a good direction.”
Lingard, who has revealed he has set himself a personal target in terms of the number of goals he aims to score this season, has now scored seven goals and registered two assists in his last nine Premier League appearances.
He will be hoping to continue his excellent form of late when the Reds take on Championship side Derby County, a team he spent time on loan at earlier in his career, in the Emirates FA Cup third round in our first home game of 2018 on Friday night.