Jesse Lingard Hails Manchester United's 'Flying' Marcus Rashford and 'Rock' Fred

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistDecember 15, 2019

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 30: Marcus Rashford of Manchester United celebrates with Fred after scoring his first goal during the Carabao Cup Round of 16 match between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on October 30, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Visionhaus)
Visionhaus/Getty Images

Jesse Lingard has praised Manchester United team-mates Marcus Rashford and Fred for their contributions in recent weeks.

United face Everton on Sunday after back-to-back Premier League wins over Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City, in which Rashford scored three times.

Lingard told Goal's Nizaar Kinsella:

"Rashford is flying. He is there to score goals, and he enjoys scoring goals.

"Every day he is practising in training and it is working on the pitch. Practice makes perfect, and he is always staying behind and practising on his shooting."

"In the last two games, he has been solid in midfield," Lingard said of Fred. "He is a real rock. We can rely on him when we press high to back us.Β He has been doing really well at the moment."

Rashford has enjoyed a prolific campaign with United and has already notched 13 goals in all competitions, matching the tally he achieved in each of the last two seasons.

In the Premier League, he has 10 goals and four assists.

Football statistician Dave O'Brien put that record in perspective:

Statman Dave @StatmanDave

Marcus Rashford has been directly involved in 14 Premier League goals this season, only Jamie Vardy (17) has had a hand in more. Outrageously productive. πŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™Œ https://t.co/gUmbnQ7NXi

O'Brien also discussed Rashford's form with former Premier League players Micah Richards and Leon Osman on BBC 5 Live Sport:

BBC 5 Live Sport @5liveSport

'With Marcus Rashford, we are seeing the development from a boy to a man' πŸ—£οΈ @MicahRichards, @StatmanDave and @Osman21Leon talk about #MUFC's front three, Marcus Rashford and the inconsistency under SolskjΓ¦r Listen live πŸ‘‡ πŸ“²βš½οΈ: https://t.co/Ht2qES2rcg #bbcfootball https://t.co/iCyVwaPayC

The 22-year-old also has three goals and an assist for England this season, as further evidence of his improved production in front of goal.

He should be capable of surpassing Paul Pogba's total of 16 goals for United last season, and he has a good chance of reaching the landmark of 20 provided he remains fit.

As for Fred, he looked to have little future at the club at the start of the campaign.Β 

He arrived at Old Trafford in a Β£52 million deal last year but made just 25 appearances in his first season, spending much of the campaign on the bench.Β 

The Brazilian did not feature in United's final three matches last season, or in their first four of this season.

He has forced his way back into the team, however, per Dominic Booth of the Manchester Evening News:

Dominic Booth @DomBooth19

Fred has started Manchester United's last nine @premierleague games. When he's started this season, they have a 50% win ratio, only losing twice. We did say he needed a run of starts... #mufc https://t.co/lIx4R3uayj

Despite Rashford scoring a brace against Spurs, football writer Liam Canning thought Fred was the team's best performer:

Liam Canning @LiamPaulCanning

Fred for my MOTM. Best I've seen him for a long time. Vibrant in everything he did tonight. Need more of that.

The 26-year-old followed that up with a similarly strong showing against City.

For both players, it will be important for United to maintain their good form consistently over a long period.

The Red Devils will return to fifth place if they beat Everton on Sunday, unless Wolverhampton Wanderersβ€”who have a goal difference of four compared with United's sixβ€”beat Tottenham by a significant margin.

If United overcome the Toffees, they'll be just two points off a place in the top four.