Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has suggested Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata's lack of pace will spark him into action in the January transfer window.
The 22-year-old has broken into the Dutchman's first-team plans with a string of fine performances. in recent weeks Lingard's terrific form continued against West Brom on Saturday, where he scored the opening goal in a 2-0 win.
Mata would later seal three points in injury time from the penalty spot, but, despite their efforts, Van Gaal said neither of the players are currently giving him what he wants: pace.
SUBMIT AN ARTICLE
Apply to become a GMS writer by signing up and submitting a 250 word test article: https://gms.to/haveyoursay5
He told reporters: “I have said already in my first year many times we need speed and creativity on the wings.
“You have seen that now we play with Jesse Lingard and he is not the most speedy winger in the world and Mata is also not the most speedy winger in the world. So first we must first finish that problem and then we can see how we have to play and how we are in balance with playing with speedy wingers.”
While every fan would love to see more quality players arrive at Old Trafford in January, there are few things fans enjoy more than a homegrown hero like Lingard. Indeed, his emergence has come at Memphis Depay's expense, but few are pining for the return of their £31million summer signing.
Having seen a number of academy graduates leave under Van Gaal, fans have been excited to see local lad Lingard finally emerge as a genuine star.
Here is a taste of the reaction following his performance against the Baggies:
Van Gaal is obviously benefitting from the deep pockets of Manchester United but after spending £258.7m in just two summers and one January window, the Dutchman cannot keep looking to new signings to solve problems.
Almost £100m was spent in the summer and the squad is packed out with international talent. Maybe it is time for Van Gaal to start making the most of what he has already got. After all, it is more than most will ever have.