Manchester United talisman Bruno Fernandes has branded Jesse Lingard “the best player in the Premier League” over the last 10 matches.
Lingard, 28, fell considerably down the pecking order at Old Trafford following the arrival of Fernandes from Sporting CP in January 2020.
As such, the recently-recalled England international sought greater first-team opportunities away from the North West and relocated to West Ham on loan in this season’s winter transfer window.
Since moving to the London Stadium, Lingard has proven a revelation and flourished under the stewardship of David Moyes as the club move to within touching distance sealing European football for next season.
There have been a number of notable candidates in the Hammers’ unexpected rise up the table, not least Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek, but Lingard has proven the catalyst in 2021, giving Moyes’ side an adrenaline shot as we approach the home straight.
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Lingard’s future remains uncertain with just one year left on his contract at Man Utd, but Fernandes believes the talented midfielder has rediscovered his “swag” and is currently playing the best football in the division.
“If you see Jesse, I think Jesse, at the moment, if you watch the last 10 games, has been top, top, top level,” Fernandes told MUTV.
“For me, if you watch the last 10 games, he’s been the best player in the Premier League, scoring and assists in every game.
“Everyone here is really, really happy for him. He has confidence back, he has his swag back, because he is feeling confident.
“We are really, really happy for what he’s doing.”
Lingard at West Ham
A few eyebrows were raised when Lingard completed his switch to West Ham given his serious lack of minutes in the first half of the campaign, but the Man Utd loanee has performed with distinction over the past few months and restored his reputation.
The signs of a blossoming relationship between club and player were evident on his debut as Lingard notched a brace against Aston Villa in early-February to seal a 3-1 win for West Ham at Villa Park, and boost the club’s hopes of challenging for a top-six finish.
Since then he hasn’t looked back, so far scoring nine goals and chipping in with a further three assists, as well as winning two penalties for Moyes’ side, something they had failed to do before the Man Utd man stepped in.
Such has been Lingard’s form that only Kelechi Iheanacho (13) has had a hand in more direct contributions than Lingard (12) since he made his West Ham bow in that aforementioned showdown against Villa.