Hoddle hails West Ham star he says is playing the best football of his career

Nathaniel Kay March 16, 2021
Hoddle hails West Ham star he says is playing the best football of his career
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Glenn Hoddle has joined the ever-expanding Jesse Lingard fan club thanks to the Manchester United loanee’s performances for West Ham this season, speaking on the Glen Hoddle Footy Show podcast.

Lingard’s stock has certainly risen since he moved to West Ham on loan in January.

In six Hammers appearances, the 28-year-old has racked up four goals and two assists. Lingard achieved the same return for Manchester United last season – but in in 40 games.

Those statistics present a clear indication of his improvement, but a weight also seems to have lifted from Lingard’s shoulders since he joined West Ham.

Hoddle happy for Lingard

Hoddle is highly impressed by Lingard’s transition from languishing in Manchester to loving life in London.

The former Tottenham boss said: “What I have been impressed about the boy (Lingard) is he must have kept himself really fit.

“To come into West Ham, play at the top level, be thrown straight in, stay in the team and play as well as he has played.”

And Hoddle feels the improvement should lead Lingard back into the national set-up.

Hoddle said: “(Lingard) has played as well as I’ve seen him play, even when he was with United at his best.

“He’ll be there or thereabouts for an England call-up again if he keeps playing like he has. He’s got lots of energy.

Photo by IAN WALTON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

“Playing in a West Ham shirt, he doesn’t feel the burden on his shoulders. At United, he sees a lot of stars there, (Bruno) Fernandes for instance.

“I wonder if (Lingard) thinks to himself, ‘Am I as good as him? Am I better than him?’

“That’s what he’s got to do mentally. He’s got to go back to United and feel as if he’s a big player. He feels that at West Ham.”

Should I stay or should I go?

David Moyes can only enjoy Lingard’s services until June, when his loan ends, but West Ham fans would love to keep him at the club a lot longer.

Those feelings may well be reciprocated by a player who has certainly settled into his new surroundings.

Lingard may be torn between returning to his boyhood club or remaining at the London Stadium.

Whichever path he decides to take, it will have a massive impact on the rest of his career. No pressure there then.

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.