Jesse Lingard

David Moyes might have pulled off another transfer masterstroke. Earlier in January, he identified the importance of their winter signings Tomáš Souček and Jarrod Bowen as key in having kept them from relegation last season. 

West Ham currently find themselves fifth, two points behind Liverpool on the Premier League standings in a wonderful season after being tipped for relegation at the start. 

Their latest win was a 3-1 victory over fellow high-flyers Aston Villa which will be best remembered for Jesse Lingard’s dream debut. The Man United man was signed on loan last week, hoping for more playing time after struggles on and off the pitch.

Lingard was handed 90 minutes on his first West Ham appearance and made the most of his first Premier League start since January 2020.

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The 28-year-old was a boost of quality, winning the Man of The Match award on only his fourth appearance this season. 

Lingard scored twice in the Hammers’ 3-1 triumph at Villa Park, and the winger revealed after the game that he already feels comfortable in Moyes’ starting XI.  

Jesse Lingard
Jesse Lingard scores for West Ham 56 minutes into his debut. (Getty Images)

“Three points is the most important thing, the team worked hard as a collective and we think about the next one against Fulham,” he told BT Sport after the game.

“The team have been great with me, I have settled in fairly quickly and some familiar faces help.

Lingard recorded six shots and three on target, but pertinently showed an understanding and ease of movement with his teammates as he linked up with Michail Antonio for both goals. 

“In training we have that connection and built it up fairly quickly. On matchday it is fairly easy to play with Michail Antonio and Declan Rice.

“I started tonight, scored two goals and got three points. I was smiling before the game and during, I just enjoy playing football.

“It has been a long time, I have come here to get game time and scored two goals but like I said, three points is the most important.”

The David Moyes Effect

If Lingard’s debut is anything to go by, David Moyes may have hit another gem in east London. The former Man United manager will be pleased that everything is going according to plan, as Lingard has found his smile which is key for a creative player. 

David Moyes
Moyes has succesfully shaped West Ham into his own philosophy. (Getty Images)

“Well if he keeps playing as well as he did tonight and he keeps scoring goals then he’ll do a brilliant job for West Ham and if he keeps doing that he’ll get in the England squad as well.”

The Scotsman has also found an attacking replacement for Sébastien Haller as the Hammers scrambled for a centre forward throughout the window. Lingard can play in several positions and bolsters the options available to Moyes.

 “Jesse can play from the left, from the right or play as a 10. He played for England as a midfield player at times as an eight.

“I think if I had to, I could play him as a false nine if I needed, the way Manchester City have played quite often with no centre forwards.

“There’s been very little business done in terms of centre forwards, because of Covid and because of availability, so I think Jesse can do all those jobs if required.

Moyes has overseen a host of shrewd signings since returning to The London Stadium; Souček,  Bowen, Vladimír Coufal, Craig Dawson, Saïd Benrahma and now Lingard have all joined and made an instant impact on the Hammers.

The Moyes effect is well and truly in motion and West Ham fans only have to take a glance at the league table. With a fit and smiling Lingard, this might just be the start of a fairytale as the attacker eyes a spot in this summer’s European Championship.

Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin
February 4, 2021
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Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin

Chief Editor of the Football Castle, Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin is a football junkie and writer of the beautiful game.

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