Manchester United youngster Jesse Lingard struck a dramatic late winner for Gareth Southgate's England side in the European Under-21 Championship last night.
The Three Lions, who were beaten in their opening game in Group B, secured a 1-0 victory over Sweden thanks to a fine half-volley from the wide-man.
Lingard, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Championship outfit Derby County, replaced Tottenham's Alex Pritchard in the second half in the Czech Republic, and proved his class in the final stages of the game with one of the goals of the tournament so far.
In fact, after the game, the winger thanked Nathan Redmond for his part in the goal, claiming that the Norwich City man told him to stay on the edge of the area.
Speaking to TheFA.Com, the Manchester United man stated: “Sweden were looking for the draw and we needed the win. It was just lucky that we got the corner, it came out to me and because I was free on the edge and, as soon as I hit it, I knew it was in.
“You know in your head whether to shoot or pass, but I knew straight away to hit it. At first, I was going to go in the box but Nathan Redmond said to stay on the edge so I'll give the assist to him.”
The England Under-21 boss stated: “It was maybe a bit harsh because Jesse has been very sharp, not only in the first game, but also in training.
"But I had a feeling for Alex and thought he could cause a threat. We knew that the last 30 minutes would be really important. Our subs had an impact and that has to happen."
Manchester United chance?
Let's not get carried away, of course, but perhaps the winger will be hoping to continue to prove his credentials in the tournament, as he goes about securing a place in the first-team setup at Old Trafford next season.
One thing's for sure, the youngster is certainly held in high regard by the hierarchy at Manchester United, having been handed a starting spot in the club's opening day game with Swansea City last season.
Of course, things didn't work out for him on that day as he left the field of play with a knee injury, but he's now seemingly finding his best form again, but it remains to be seen as to whether Van Gaal hands him a chance next season. If he scores another goal or two like the one against Sweden, the he will certainly give the United boss something to think about.
Manchester United fans: Does Lingard deserve a place in the first-team squad next season? Have your say in the comments section below!
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