Jesse Lingard says first Manchester United goal a 'dream come true'
Jesse Lingard said it was a dream come true to open his Manchester United account some 15 years after joining the club.
The midfielder scored his first competitive goal in United colours in their 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.
The 22-year-old, who comes from nearby Warrington, has been on United's books since he was seven years old, but had gone out on loan to four different clubs and suffered from injury problems before his breakthrough this week.
Lingard believes it is a reward for his patience and is now aiming to establish himself as a regular in Louis van Gaal's team.
"To come through the ranks and play for your boyhood club is a dream come true," he said. "I've been here since I was seven.
"It was a great feeling. It was pure happiness. My family were here as well, it put a smile on their faces as well. My mum was here, my brother, dad and girlfriend, so they are really proud of me. I think my girlfriend has taped it so I will watch it again later. My family are all United fans too."
Sir Alex Ferguson had tipped Lingard to play for United's first team but never selected him in the starting XI.
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He began Van Gaal's first competitive game in charge, in August 2014, but got injured and did not start another Premier League match until Saturday.
He did not make an appearance in any competition this season until Oct. 17 and added: "I have had to stay patient, and thankfully I have.
"My chance didn't come for three months. I had to be patient. I was in the stands for a few games but I had to work hard in training and I got my rewards."
Lingard had also set up Wayne Rooney's winner against CSKA Moscow last week and said: "Hopefully I will try and get a regular place in the team and be consistent in my performances."