JESSE LINGARD has revealed he needs “regular football” to hope to be part of Gareth Southgate’s squad for the 2022 World Cup.
The Manchester United man was linked with a move away from Old Trafford this summer but ended up staying to fight for his place in the first team.
But since the start of the new campaign, the 28-year-old has only made three Premier League appearances, all of them on the bench.
And through those games, he’s only played 45 combined minutes of Prem football.
However, that included a dramatic winner over former club West Ham, and now another call to Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions squad after scoring against Andorra last month.
Lingard also scored after coming off the bench in the 4-1 win over Newcastle in September – the same day as Cristiano Ronaldo’s emotional return.
Yet at a press conference in England, Lingard admitted to reporters: “Obviously the World Cup is far away but… you need regular football.
“I was so close to going to the Euro and I think that obviously plays a huge role and it’s a big factor.
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“If you play more than 20 or 25 games, of course you know you’re knocking on the door, so I think that plays a big part in that.
“I’m not doing any harm right now – if I keep performing well and doing well you never know what might happen so I keep my confidence and when I have time on the pitch I have to keep doing what I’m doing.
“You want to start the games. When I’m a substitute, I’m always ready to play. I’m always ready to be needed when called on.
“It’s one of those things that I’m going through right now, but I think on recent performances, I hope we see a change in the next few weeks.”
Lingard’s impressive performances on loan at West Ham in the second half of last season saw him be part of Southgate’s preliminary squad for Euro 2020.
He has scored nine goals in 16 games for David Moyes’ side, as well as five assists.
Ultimately, Lingard failed to qualify for Southgate’s final squad for England’s Euro 2020 campaign, but was immediately called up for the September internationals.
But Lingard has hinted he needs to play at least 20 to 25 games per season to make his way into Southgate’s World Cup plans.
The Red Devils academy graduate remains linked with a move away from Old Trafford and has even been asked to swap Old Trafford for new pasture by club legend Gary Neville.
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