Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville have heaped praise on Jesse Lingard for his first-half performance for West Ham on Monday, with the forward earning comparisons to Dimitar Berbatov.
Lingard has been in excellent form since he left Manchester United for West Ham on loan in January, with his goal and assist in the opening 45 minutes against Wolves taking his total goal contributions to 10 in just eight appearances for the Hammers.
The 28-year-old opened the scoring in the first few minutes of the game with a fine solo goal which saw him run the length of the opposition half before dinking the ball over the goalkeeper.
Neville, who believes Lingard has a strong chance of being in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the European Championships this summer, waxed lyrical on the goal.
“I said it could be a thrilling game if the attacking players got hold of it,” the former United captain said on Monday Night Football.
“I just never expected, you watch Wolves time and time again and I know they’ve gone to a back four and they’re not as good at a back four, but I never thought I’d see a Wolves team so open, so exposed, counter attacked like you’d never believe.
“Jesse Lingard, to be fair, it’s a brilliant, brilliant goal. What a goal! I remember [Paulo] Wanchope for Derby scoring a goal that like from one side of the pitch to the other and there’s a little bit of an element of that.
“He used the run of [Michail] Antonio brilliantly, takes Coady away, it’s a fantastic goal he’s in great form. The finish, it’s on his left foot but he just slips it into that corner. It’s a fantastic start to the game and a great goal from him.”
Lingard then played a massive role in the second goal, pulling off a sublime piece of skill on the by-line, turning past the defender to give the ball to a teammate before Pablo Fornals was teed up to score.
Carragher saw similarities to a famous pirouette by Berbatov against West Ham to set up Cristiano Ronaldo in 2008.
“You mentioned Wanchope’s goal there this is similar to Dimitar Berbatov doing something similar on the by-line that Jesse Lingard does here,” Carragher said. “This brilliant turn. Massively involved Jesse Lingard, I think we might have to change our England squads!”
To which Neville replied: “He’s in mine!”
Lingard wasn’t done there as he then set up the third goal by taking on half of the Wolves team before playing through Jarrod Bowen to fire home.
Former United striker Romelu Lukaku was also left impressed and tweeted: “Damn jesse..” following his goal.