Jesse Lingard better suited to central role - Man United boss Louis van Gaal
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has said he views Jesse Lingard as more of a central player than a wide man.
Lingard impressed in the No. 10 role for Thursday night's 1-1 draw against Liverpool in the Europa League and began Sunday's 1-0 win over Manchester City in the central role, with Juan Mata moving out to the right.
The 23-year-old performed well before being shifted out wide later in the match and when asked about the player's fine showing in the centre after the game, Van Gaal said: "Yes, that is why I have put him there, but sometimes also I need a right winger who is fast.
"It's also dependent on the opponent and the game plan but I think Jesse is more of a midfielder than a right winger. He played there two times very well."
Lingard told the club's official website: "The manager was buzzing. But, obviously, we know it is not like it is the last game of the season. We have to kick on now and focus on beating Everton.
"The lads put a lot of effort in [against City], we pressed really well and kept the ball really well. To get the early goal was massive for us."
Lingard's performance on Sunday also drew praise from former United captain Rio Ferdinand, who tweeted: "Lingard.....proper footballer. Does what most kids these days don't appreciate....intelligent movement off the ball."
Lingard.....proper footballer. Does what most kids these days don't appreciate....intelligent movement off the ball.- Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) March 20, 2016
Van Gaal also praised Morgan Schneiderlin's performance against City, despite worrying that the France international could suffer another dip in form.
Schneiderlin started alongside Michael Carrick as a deep midfielder ahead of Marouane Fellaini, who has been heavily criticised for his recent performances.
"I don't have to say that too loud because the last time I said I am very happy for Morgan Schneiderlin, after that he played not so well, but today he played a very good match," Van Gaal said. "He was a lot of times available to receive the pass but also defensively was very firm and strict and he played also a very important position in midfield.
"I was very happy especially because I had to rotate. Fellaini could not play the fourth game in a row."
Arindam is ESPN FC's Manchester United correspondent. Follow him @ARejSport