Jesse Lingard could leave Manchester United in the summer, says former United midfielder Paul Scholes.
Lingard, 27, scored in United’s 2-1 win over Austrian side LASK on Wednesday to complete a 7-1 victory on aggregate in their last-16 Europa League tie.
But the midfielder has not had regular first-team action and looked unhappy when substituted after 63 minutes.
“He is capable of more than he’s showing at United,” said Scholes on BT Sport.
“When he’s playing well he has something to offer but lately he has not been good enough. Is he a starting XI player if you’re going to win the league and big trophies at Manchester United? I’m not sure.
“It was a good chance for him to play 90 minutes, but when Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer] took him off it is a sign Ole is thinking of moving him on.”
Lingard came through the ranks at United, scored the winner in the 2016 FA Cup final and has represented England 24 times. But he only started nine Premier League games in 2019-20, with his only league goal coming at the end of the final match of the season – a 2-0 win over Leicester.
His chances of first-team action could be reduced further if United clinch a deal to sign England forward Jadon Sancho, 20, from Borussia Dortmund.
“I know what Jesse is capable of, I grew up with him, played with him, coached him in the reserves, but he has just become a squad player,” added Scholes.
“He should be at the peak of his career and does he only want to play 10/15/20 games?
“Jesse is a good lad, he just needs a run of games but I don’t think he will get that at Manchester United, maybe at a mid-table team like an Everton or West Ham.”
Solskjaer said Lingard “had to stand by the manager whatever decision he makes” but added: “I’d be disappointed if he was happy [at being replaced].
“He’s growing in confidence, worked hard on his finishing and I’m happy for him to score. I’ve known Jesse since he was a kid, there’s a good player, a great personality, he knows what we want from him.”
Lingard told BT Sport he was disappointed to be withdrawn and said: “I was enjoying the game. I enjoy football and felt I could have scored more, but it’s the manager’s decision and I’ll stand by that.
“When you’re in the right mental state football takes your mind off everything. I love football and enjoy football. Man United’s in my blood and I love playing for the club.”
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BBC Sport’s Simon Stone
There was a time when Jesse Lingard had the world at his feet. He scored the winner in the 2016 FA Cup final and a year later signed a massive new contract – that runs out in 2021. In 2018 he started England’s World Cup semi-final.
This year has been a very different story. Lingard has spoken about the off-field issues that have affected him and now his status at United is under threat.
His two post-lockdown Premier League appearances don’t hint at much trust from his manager – and in truth he is a level below those vying for the same slots.
The big question is whether he will stick around as other unheralded home-grown players like Darren Fletcher and John O’Shea did – or leave like Danny Welbeck.
It’s a gamble.