Jesse Lingard has explained his West Ham loan move by saying he ‘didn’t get a chance’ at Man Utd after lockdown.
The England international joined the Hammers during the January transfer window on loan.
He had only made three appearances for Man Utd this season before the move.
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The 28-year-old already seems to be enjoying his time in the capital.
He scored two goals on his debut as West Ham beat Aston Villa 3-1 in the Premier League.
Speaking to BT Sport (via Goal) about the move, Lingard said: “First and foremost I’m here to play, win and help the team, so hopefully I can do that and we’ll see where we’re at come the end of the season. But it’s about playing with a smile on my face and enjoying my football and getting back to the old Jesse.
“Football is a lot of ups and downs, people go through different stages and it’s not just a straight road to the top. There are a lot of setbacks which most people don’t see and a lot of things that go on behind closed doors.
“During the lockdown I recapped my best moments playing football – the season under Jose (Mourinho) where I scored all of those goals and went to the World Cup and the season when Ole came in and I started well.
“I started recapping a lot of games to see where I did well, getting that fire in my belly and drive again to go and kick on because it would have been easy for me to fall off and take the easy option out. But a person like me who’s been through a lot and knows the game, I can’t just give it up like and I’ll always go out with a fight.
“I came back one of the strongest and fittest (in the Man Utd squad) after the lockdown and I didn’t get my chance that I was waiting on. The whole time I was there and not playing I was doing extra training and keeping on top of my fitness for when the time was right.
“So for me it’s about working hard and staying dedicated and I went back to basics.”
The winger looks set to play an important role as David Moyes’ side chase a European spot.
They play Sheff Utd tonight at 18:00.