West Ham midfielder Jesse Lingard says that playing again for England has allowed him to tick off one of the targets he set himself for his loan move.
Lingard made the Three Lions squad for the 2018 World Cup amid his regular Manchester United role. However, following Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s appointment as manager, his game time diminished significantly. As such, he made the decision to find a temporary move away in January, choosing the Hammers.
The 28-year-old has returned to his best in east London, scoring five goals and assisting three others in eight Premier League games.
But as well as adding to West Ham‘s push for European football next season, Lingard has regained his place in the England team, making his comeback against San Marino on Thursday.
In fact, he won the Player of the Match award as the Three Lions won 5-0 in World Cup qualifying action.
As such, Lingard revealed to MOTDx that he has achieved one of the targets he set himself for his loan move.
“Since I came here I have had some targets written down on a board and until I hit them I won’t be fulfilled,” the midfielder said.
“[Playing for England] was one of the targets on my board, playing well, working hard, and showing why I deserve to be there.
“It would make a good comeback story [playing in Euro 2020] I can tell you that for a fact.
“The Euros would be the icing on the cake for me and getting into Europe [with West Ham] of course.”
Lingard announced himself at West Ham with two goals on his debut in a 3-1 win over Aston Villa.
However, the player insisted that the simple joys of playing football are more important to him than his statistics.
Lingard happy with West Ham role
“Even though it is our work it is our hobby as well,” he said.
“I’ve loved playing football from when I was young and I have a smile on my face, during the game and after the game, just to be back on the pitch doing what I do best, you can’t beat that feeling.
“I feel sharp. Obviously, I have kept myself fit, mentally during lockdown it can be tough but obviously, at first, we did not know when we were going to be back playing football but in my mind, I just wanted to stay fit regardless anyway, to go back into [Manchester] United one of the fittest and sharpest and I did that.
“You have to believe in yourself and believe in your ability. It could have been quite easy to give up and fall off at the time because it was hard.
“You train all week and look to the game and then to not get picked of course for any player it is difficult.”
West Ham return to action on April 5 when they play Wolves at Molineux in Premier League action.