Former Manchester United first-team coach Rene Meulensteen has described Jesse Lingard as the English version of Andres Iniesta.
Meulensteen worked with a young Lingard during his time as United’s skills coach just over 10 years ago, and the Dutchman can see comparisons with the winger and Barcelona and Spain great Iniesta.
Lingard has caught the eye in recent weeks after providing an assist against CSKA Moscow in the Champions League and then scoring his first Premier League goal for Manchester United four days later against West Brom.
SUBMIT AN ARTICLE
Apply to become a GMS writer by signing up and submitting a 250-word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay5
"I see him as the English version of Iniesta," Meulensteen told United Review, per the Manchester Evening News. "He has still got a long way to go but that is the sort of player I see in him."
However, such a comparison was always likely to attract bemused responses from football fans on Twitter. Iniesta is one of the best players of his generation, whereas Lingard is still yet to prove whether or not he is the real deal.
Video: Meulensteen and Lingard go way back
Lingard still has everything to prove
Following his two eye-catching performances before the international break, Lingard was less impressive in United’s 2-1 win over Watford at the weekend.
The 22-year-old missed a couple of good chances to score, although he did play his part in the Red Devils’ winning goal.
Lingard, who was born in Warrington, will have his work cut out to keep his place in Louis van Gaal’s starting line-up due to the intense competition for first-team places.
With Memphis Depay rediscovering his goalscoring touch against Watford and Anthony Martial set to return to action, Lingard may find himself back on the bench before long.
Manchester United fans: what do you think of Jesse Lingard being compared to Andres Iniesta? Have your say in the comments below!