Jesse Lingard was put in esteemed company on talkSPORT this week following this stunning return to form at West Ham…
The red-hot midfielder was compared to Diego Maradona, George Best and even Lionel Messi!
Andy Goldstein’s tongue may have firmly been in his cheek when he praised the incredible performances of ‘Messi Lingard’ since joining the Hammers on loan from Manchester United in January.
But John the Arsenal fan sounded pretty serious as he made a quite remarkable comparison between the England international and two of the greatest maverick players the game has ever seen.
There is no doubt Lingard has been in the form of his life since becoming a Hammer.
The 27-year-old has a record of eight goals and four assists in just nine appearances and has helped the London club shoot for the top four and Champions League football.
His electric form has even attracted Europe’s elite clubs, with reports claiming Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Inter Milan are all keeping tabs on Lingard ahead of the summer transfer window.
And Gooner John insists it’s no wonder, and urged Lingard to make the move abroad and take his career to new dizzying heights in Europe.
Calling in to the Sports Bar, he said: “Oh my God, has Jesse Lingard turned into Maradona?
“I haven’t seen football from a British player like this for years, since the days of George Best.
“If he gets West Ham into the top four, it would be phenomenal!
“Jesse Lingard should be the number one player for England, they should build a team around him.
“He’s a brilliant player, but he’s always been a maverick, he’s always done it. I remember when he won the FA Cup for Manchester United, he got the winning goal. I’ve always liked him, I like his character and personality and he’s just been let loose!
“If I was Jesse Lingard I wouldn’t go back to Man U and if they’re not going to take him at West Ham I’d go abroad where he would be absolutely amazing.
“Jesse Lingard is brilliant, he’s fantastic.”
Sports Bar hosts Goldstein and Jason Cundy were also full of praise for Lingard, after he scored two goals in a thrilling 3-2 win over Leicester over the weekend.
“Messi Lingard, he has just been unbelievable for West Ham,” said Goldstein
And if you look at the club he was playing for, he came through an academy that produced a huge amount of talent.
“It kind of felt he was maybe overawed there by some of the big signings, Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes, Donny Van der Beek. Going away from that situation, he’s gone from being a small fish in a big pond and he’s now ‘the man’ at West Ham.
“He feels like, ‘I’ve come from United, I’ve come from England, I know what it’s like to be a winner, I’m going to show you how good I am’.”
He’s been good, but Maradona and Best? Come on now…