Jesse Lingard not ready to play for England, says Louis van Gaal

Jesse Lingard of Manchester United celebrates
Image: Jesse Lingard scored Manchester United's opener against West Brom

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal insists winger Jesse Lingard is not ready for a call-up to the senior England squad.

Lingard, who has been capped 11 times for the England U21 team, impressed in United's 2-0 victory over West Brom on Saturday.

As well as performing confidently throughout the match, Lingard displayed composure in scoring the opening goal of the game on 52 minutes before Juan Mata secured the win with a stoppage-time penalty.

The 22-year-old has been given his chance in the United side following a dip in form from Memphis Depay, and there is already some speculation England boss Roy Hodgson may add Lingard to his squad for the forthcoming friendlies against Spain and France.

But Van Gaal believes the player will have to produce steady form before he can think about international football.

"I would say it is too much too early," the United manager said. "We have to wait to see if he is consistent because he is more or less the same age as Memphis Depay.

Stephane Sessegnon of West Bromwich Albion in action with Jesse Lingard of Manchester United
Image: Lingard (right) has forced his way into United's first-team plans this season

"We have to wait but I am very happy with his contribution up until now. I have said already in my first year many times we need speed and creativity on the wings.

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"You have seen that now we play with Jesse Lingard and he is not the most speedy winger in the world - and Mata is also not the most speedy winger in the world. So first we must first address that problem."

Lingard's weekend strike was his first for the club and he admits getting it has lifted his morale and given him belief he can become a regular in the team.

Manager Louis van Gaal of Manchester United
Image: Louis van Gaal believes it is too soon to call Jesse Lingard into the England squad

He told the club's official website: "I've been a bit rash with my finishing recently but to be composed in that situation was good and I am glad it went in. I'm definitely growing in confidence.

"The manager has put faith in me to start some really important games so my confidence is obviously sky high. I had to work hard in training and I've got my rewards.

"Now I need to be consistent with my performances as I know the manager likes that from his players. If I can carry on like this then that will obviously be great for me."

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