Micah Richards says Jesse Lingard became a scapegoat at Manchester United before his move to West Ham.
The attacking midfielder got his loan at the Hammers off to the perfect start as he scored twice against Aston Villa on Wednesday in what was his first Premier League appearance of the season after falling out of favour at United under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Speaking on Match of the Day, former Man City defender Richards backed Lingard to flourish at West Ham, arguing he could not show his best at United.
He said: “You’re happy for him because what he’s gone through at Man United, he became the scapegoat. He is a quality player, isn’t he?
“His intent was there right from the off. He was getting comfortable, growing into the game, wanting the ball because it was a big occasion for him.
“You’ve been hiding behind the Man United covers, as some people would say, but we see here, he’s got more to his game.”
Fellow Match of the Day pundit Murphy said credit must be given to Lingard for the immediate impact he made despite a lack of football so far this season.
Murphy said: “He played with swagger, he played with confidence.
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Manchester United smashed nine goals past Southampton on Tuesday night as they bounced back from disappointing results against Sheffield United and Arsenal in emphatic fashion.
The game was effectively over as a contest inside the first two minutes as Southampton were reduced to 10 men, but United still had to find the goals and they did exactly that, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Marcus Rashford, Edinson Cavani, Anthony Martial (two), Scott McTominay, Bruno Fernandes and Daniel James all getting on the scoresheet.
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“Being a big fish in a smaller pond might do him the world of good, where the responsibility is on him.
“He wasn’t a regular at United, but he’s scored goals in cup finals, he’s been there and done it.
“The best thing I can say about him tonight is giving him credit for how well he’s looked after himself. He’s hardly played this season and he was fit as a fiddle.”