David Moyes said Jesse Lingard has the potential to make England’s European Championship squad after he scored twice on his debut as we cruised past Aston Villa.
Manchester United loanee Lingard – making his first Premier League start in 13 months – netted our second with a thunderous effort after 56 minutes. And the 28-year-old doubled his tally in the closing stages after Villa keeper Emiliano Martinez failed to hold on to his strike.
“It is great when you bring someone in and they do well. If he keeps up the form he showed tonight, and he is not completely match fit, scoring the goals, he will not be far way from Gareth Southgate’s England squad in the summer.”West Ham manager David Moyes
Midfielder Tomas Soucek had put us in front at Villa Park, finishing off Said Benrahma’s pass in the 51st minute. Ollie Watkins gave Villa a glimmer of hope, making it 2-1 with nine minutes remaining, before Lingard’s second wrapped up the points.
We remain fifth, two points behind fourth-placed Liverpool who lost 1-0 at home to Brighton, while Villa stay ninth, six points behind the Hammers.
‘Smiling’ Lingard makes perfect start
Coming into this fixture, Lingard hadn’t played a Premier League match since the final day of last season, and had only made three cup appearances for his parent club this campaign.
But Moyes put the midfielder into his starting line-up, and the England international showed his creativity from the off. No West Ham player had more shots or touches in the final third in the opening period.
“We didn’t feel like we did enough against Liverpool at the weekend but we did today. Jesse helped us with that. We had to play well because of Villa’s quality. He will help us no end before the summer. All round a really great performance.”West Ham boss David Moyes
Lingard, Michail Antonio and Aaron Cresswell all forced fine saves from Villa keeper Martinez in a first half dominated by the away side.
West Ham’s new number 11 fully deserved his first goal, striking the ball through the fingertips of Martinez moments after Soucek had broken the deadlock.
Villa defender Tyrone Mings completed an excellent goalline clearance to deny Antonio shortly after the hour mark.
And Lingard rounded off his superb debut, latching on to Antonio’s pass to restore his side’s two-goal advantage two minutes after the hosts had pulled a goal back.
“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.”Jesse Lingard told BT Sport