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A 22-year-old is making his second-ever Premier League start for Man United today

Meanwhile, Van Gaal has said that Marouane Fellaini’s absence from the match-day squad is due to injury.

Jesse Lingard's last Premier League start came against Swansea over a year ago.
Jesse Lingard's last Premier League start came against Swansea over a year ago.
Image: Richard Sellers

LOUIS VAN GAAL has sprung somewhat of a surprise in Man United’s starting lineup today with the inclusion of 22-year-old Jesse Lingard.

Lingard has made three appearances off the bench this season, but has only ever started once in the league — in Van Gaal’s first game in charge, as an injury-hit United side were defeated 2-1 by Swansea on the opening day of the 204-15 campaign.

However, Lingard played 90 minutes in the Red Devils’ 1-0 Champions League win over CSKA Moscow during the week, and Van Gaal has explained that the added pace provided by the youngster is the main reason for his inclusion in the team.

“We still need players with more creativity and pace on the wings. That I have said five months ago, three months ago and now I am saying it again, but we need that, so we are still in a process,” he told reporters.

“That’s the reason why he (Lingard) plays. But I have to compare him with other players in that position. But it is still what I have said five months ago and it’s no different.”

Meanwhile, Van Gaal has said that Marouane Fellaini’s absence from the match-day squad is due to injury.

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Paul Fennessy

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