Lingard has been in stunning form since sealing a January loan switch to east London, and has been largely responsible for the Hammers rocketing up the table and pushing hard for a European-placed finish.
The 28-year-old has earned back his place in the senior England team as a result of his exploits, but Neville feels he will forever occupy the duties of an ‘in and out’ player, similar to Dan James in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s current set up.
Jesse Lingard is making a name for himself at West Ham but Gary Neville feels he will have to accept a bit-part role like Dan James (right) if he returns to United
Neville gave his verdict on the Hammers loanee this week and praised his current form
Speaking this week during his punditry duties on Sky Sports, Neville said: ‘At Manchester United because there is that expectation of what you need to be, to be a wide player there, he’s always going to get a difficult press.
‘He’s a really good player. He’s going to have a great career. Manchester United have sent him out to West Ham to boost his career, maybe with the thought of boosting his price tag, but they might be thinking, “actually, we might want him back, he could be a real help to us.”
‘But if he’s willing to go back there and compete and be the player that Dan James has been for the last few weeks, in and out, then there’s no doubt he can play for Manchester United.’
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is likely to recruit in the summer despite Lingard’s best efforts
Neville however has noted the rise in confidence in Lingard after being afforded proper game time, but feels he will have to seek a move away from United if he wishes for this to continue.
He added: ‘If Jesse wants to play, and you can see he does want to play, then he needs to leave, because he’s not going to play every single week for a Manchester United team that’s competing for second or first place in the league.’