Former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson previously tipped Jesse Lingard to come to prominence at the age of 22, reports the Mirror.
Lingard, now 22, has enjoyed his most consistent run in the United first-team in recent weeks, but Ferguson, who previously managed the youngster at Old Trafford, knew that it was going to take time for the midfielder to prove his class.
In fact, three years ago, the legendary Scotsman insisted that Lingard would go on to become 'some player' for the Red Devils. The technically gifted midfielder played a key role in United's Champions League victory against CSKA Moscow on Tuesday night, assisting captain Wayne Rooney for the winning goal.
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But Lingard's recent rise in Manchester wouldn't have come as a surprise to Ferguson, who watched United's aforementioned European clash from the stands.
Speaking three years ago, the United legend stated: “Jesse Lingard is going to be some player.
“He is 19, came through our youth system and is built like Jean Tigana was for France.
“But he never got into the limelight there until he was about 24, and I think that will be the same with Lingard.
“He will become a player when he’s 22 or so. As an attacking midfielder he has got a really good talent. I think he will be a player we have high hopes for, definitely.”
Long way to go
Ferguson's prediction is starting to look like a good one, of course, but Lingard still has a long way to go to prove himself in Manchester.
By no means is he the finished article, but he will be well aware of that. He certainly has the attributes to become a key man for the Red Devils: quick, direct and intelligent with and without the ball, Lingard is an exciting talent, but must continue to learn the game over the course of the next year.
Of course, he may well find his opportunities at Old Trafford limited at times, but there will come a point when he will be determined to play week in, week out at his beloved club.
Manchester United fans: do you expect Lingard to become a key player in the near future? Have your say below!