Jesse Lingard’s start to life as a West Ham player has caught the eye of his old Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson.
The 28-year-old made an immediate impact after completing his loan move to the London Stadium by scoring twice on his debut against Aston Villa.
And as Lingard prepares for his third start in tomorrow’s home game against Sheffield United, manager David Moyes has revealed that the man who played such a significant role in the player’s football education at Old Trafford has already been in touch to wish him well.
Moyes said: “Jesse has only here in the short term but already I’ve spoken with Sir Alex, who asked me to pass on his best.
“He mentioned he was thinking about Jesse because Sir Alex had him as a boy at Old Trafford and then when I was there I had him for a little bit as well just at the start of it.
“That just shows you the interest Sir Alex has in all the young players he had — all his teams and all his clubs he shows a great interest in them — and he was pleased Jesse got off to a good start.
“I refer back to my time at Everton when I brought Phil Neville in and I brought Tim Howard in from Manchester United.
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“Phil was great for his mentality and what he brought, it really gave us another edge.
“As a player as well he gave us something else and I’m hoping Jesse does the same at West Ham.”
Like Lingard, Moyes has experience of battling it out for European places and he knows that will be a vital ingredient as his team push for a top-six finish.
But, even so, he refuses to rule them totally in the battle for the Champions League or Europa League spots.
Moyes added: “In a strange way, when you move up the league people expect more – all I keep hearing about is Champions League and European football.
“It is part of a manager’s job to raise expectations.
“When you come into a football club your job is to do that.
“At the same time, you need to try to keep a lid on expectations because you don’t want people getting carried away.
“I would love to come out and say, ‘We are right in the mix of this’.
“We are in a great position but until we get to single-digit games left we can’t really say that.
“And we are in that more difficult period of fixtures for the next month or so.
“But we are really pleased and the players have been brilliant.
“We have the best improvement in total points since this time last season than any other team and it is possibly too big a spike.
“Somewhere along the line we have to get a consistency for our level and I hope it is the level we are at now.
“The players know inside the dressing-room exactly what I want and I what I expect.”