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Paul Scholes..

Paul Scholes nailed his assessment of Jesse Lingard before Southampton game

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Paul Scholes isn't a man to mince his words when it comes to Manchester United.

Since hanging up his boots in 2013, the Englishman's appearances as a pundit have been punctuated by brutal honesty and United supporters haven't always agreed.

So, there was always going to be sufficient entertainment when Scholes settled into the BT Sport studio, alongside Martin Keown, for the Red Devils' clash with Southampton.

And one of the topics of discussion before the game laid with Jesse Lingard.

The 25-year-old endured a difficult debut season under Jose Mourinho last year, scoring just a single Premier League goal and being gifted limited starts.

The 2017-18 campaign has been a different story, though, with Lingard enjoying a sensational run of form that made his inclusion in the starting XI for Southampton something of a no brainer.

Despite having to compete with Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford, who have enjoyed purple patches of their own this year, Lingard has impressed the most in December. 

The Englishman has six goals and four assists in just seven Premier League starts, scoring a brace at the Emirates stadium and bailing out United last week when they trailed Burnley 2-0.

Manchester United v Burnley - Premier League

His impressive form hasn't escaped the eyes of the aforementioned Scholes, either.

Scholes laid down the law with Lingard by comparing the 25-year-old to Henrikh Mkhitaryan who is well and truly feeling the effects of 'second season syndrome.'

It's fair to say Scholes nailed the comparison.

"Jesse has come of age now," the United legend declared.

"You compare him to Mkhitaryan and what did he cost? £30 million? He gives a lot more, for me, Jesse."

Leicester City v Manchester United - Premier League

Keown then proceeded to dub him as 'United's most improved player,' with Scholes in complete agreement. 

"Lingard has been a revelation for them, he's been a really important player for them," Keown added.

"He's come in more lately and deserves to be in there. I think he's been outstanding."

Check out the video below:

As divisive as some of Scholes' comments have been in the past, he's knocked it out the park with this assessment.

If Lingard can continue his current vein of form then there's no reason to suggest he won't become a staple down the United flank. As long as the goals and assists flow, Mkhitaryan will be living his United career transfer window by transfer window.

Do you think Lingard deserves to start for Manchester United? Have your say in the comments section below.

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Henrikh Mkhitaryan

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