Man United news: Bruno Fernandes comparison makes Jesse Lingard a POTY contender

Jesse Lingard

Jesse Lingard has returned from exile at Manchester United to bolster West Ham's most unlikely push towards Champions League qualification. 

The Hammers were in the ascendancy prior to Lingard's January loan deal and had established themselves as dark horses for European qualification.

However, only a tiny handful of borderline delusional supporters could have envisaged that they'd be occupying fourth place with eight games left to play. 

There are multiple moving cogs moving David Moyes' side towards Europe, but the mid-season move for Lingard could yet prove to be a watershed moment in the club's season. 

Since arriving at the London Stadium, Lingard has notched six league goals and provided four assists in eight matches, with West Ham taking 13 points from the five games in which he has found the net. 

It's been an unexpectedly profound impact that's put him back into contention for Gareth Southgate's England squad for the delayed Euro 2020 competition this summer. 

But could it also earn him an individual accolade? 

Well, it seems far-fetched to suggest that Lingard is a contender for the PFA Player of the Year award given his first appearance of the season arrived on February 3, but Tony Cascarino has made that point while speaking to talkSPORT

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Though that standpoint may sound a touch ludicrous at face value, there is a certain logic to Cascarino's comparison with Bruno Fernandes and the reverberations of his immediate impact at United in the 2019/20 season. 

“If you go back to last season, Fernandes came to United in January.

“He played half a season and then there was the debate over whether he should be a candidate for Player of the Season.

“A lot of fans, probably mostly United fans, felt that with how big of an impact he had. It’s made me think, could you make the same argument for Jesse at West Ham?

“Could he be a candidate for Player of the Season?”

A candidate? Sure. A potential winner? Unless Lingard manages to fire West Ham into the Champions League, find a cure for coronavirus and end the war in Palestine, we're pretty convinced he'll fall short of the Player of the Year award. 

However, having said all that, Cascarino's comparison with Fernandes does build a compelling case for Lingard's credentials. 

The main caveat is that he plays for West Ham and not Man United. Players from the top clubs always scoop the most coveted individual accolades.

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With the exception of Riyad Mahrez, who won the award for his scintillating role in Leicester City's against-all-odds 2015/16 season title win, players from the established top six clubs have won the award every year since the turn of the millennium. 

Man United players have won it seven times in that period, which could have been a contributing factor to the discourse surrounding Fernandes - who is valued at £81m by Transfermarkt - last season. 

Regardless of whether Lingard can put himself in contention for the award or not, there is little doubt he has re-established himself at the top level and will appeal to clubs across Europe ahead of the summer transfer window. 

The Irons are bound to be interested, but Simon Jordan believes they will be priced out of a deal. 

“I just don’t see where there is a parallel universe where they’re going to get Lingard to West Ham or they’re going to get the economics of the Lingard deal to West Ham.

“What West Ham have achieved is putting Lingard back on the map, giving Lingard a stage where he can play at the level that clearly he’s capable of.

“All that will do is increase the cost implications of getting him in the first place.

“[If Lingard wants to join West Ham permanently] what Manchester United will say is, ‘that’s great, you can go there if you want to, that’s £60m.’”

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