Lingard looked to model game on Messi & Beckham when making Man Utd breakthrough

Jesse Lingard claims to have tried to model his game on that of Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi and members of Manchester United’s fabled Class of ’92, such as David Beckham and Paul Scholes.

The 27-year-old is another product of a famed academy system at Old Trafford.

As he was emerging through the ranks, a star-studded group of home-grown talent was helping United to enjoy an era of domestic dominance under Sir Alex Ferguson.

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Lingard had to be patient in making his own breakthrough, but now has 202 United appearances and 24 England caps to his name.

He has become a role model in his own right, but admits to having looked up to some iconic figures when forging his career.

Lingard told United’s official website: “I used to watch the likes of Ronaldinho, [Andres] Iniesta and [Lionel] Messi.

“But obviously coming through the club, I used to watch Ryan Giggs, Scholesy, Becks, Nicky Butt, the Nevilles, the Class of ’92.

“I used to watch all the videos of them seasons at home so I had a really good understanding of how they played. They were all British players and they reached the top and won trophies, so it was really inspiring for me to look at that at a young age and I thought ‘I’m young, but eventually I’ll be in their position and I want to know how they do it’.

“So I’d say the Class of ’92 were an inspiration for me at that young age.”

Jesse Lingard Manchester United 2019-20
Jesse Lingard Manchester United 2019-20

Asked to pick out the qualities that he has sought to add to his game, Lingard said: “Obviously you watch players and try and take something from their game to yours.

“Each player individually has their own talent and ability. You can watch players and take different elements of people's game and try and add them into yours.

“Sometimes I watch Messi off the ball and see how sharp he is.”

Lingard made his debut for United in August 2014, but had to wait until the following season before becoming a regular at Old Trafford under Louis van Gaal.

He is now tied to a lucrative contract through to 2021 that includes the option for a further 12-month extension.

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