Jesse Lingard is back on the England radar after his impressive return to form.
England boss Gareth Southgate may even consider recalling him on Thursday when he names his squad for the World Cup qualifying treble header with San Marino, Poland and Albania later this month.
Southgate is facing the prospect of major withdrawals and also drop outs – including the likes of James Maddison, Jack Grealish and Jadon Sancho – for the squad which could open the door for a recall.
Lingard was a huge part of England’s World Cup campaign in 2018 but has fallen off the map in the past two years, winning his last cap in the Nations League finals in the summer of 2019.
That has been amid his struggles at Manchester United which led to Southgate leaving him out of his squads because he has not been playing regularly for his club.
Lingard was axed from the England squad in October 2019 when Mason Mount and James Maddison got call-ups and his international career looked over.
But Lingard’s loan move to West Ham has revitalised his club career and suddenly put him back in the international frame.
Lingard, 28, has scored four goals for West Ham, been a major driving force in their push for a European place and is rediscovering his confidence.
Interestingly, West Ham boss David Moyes rang Southgate for a reference before pushing ahead with a loan move when United made him available in January.
Southgate gave Lingard a glowing reference for his qualities both on and off the pitch which was a major factor in West Ham signing him.
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That must be seen as an indicator of Southgate’s trust in Lingard as he has always remained a major fan from England under-21 days.
Jordan Henderson will also miss out while Arsenal ’s Bukayo Saka is another injury worry with a hamstring issue after playing so many games.
That could open the door for Lingard to get a recall to the England fold as Southgate remains convinced of his quality.