When Jesse Lingard was a young kid, as young as 7-years-old, he trained with both Manchester United and Liverpool.
But Lingard opted to become a United player after becoming disgruntled on Merseyside.
In an interview with the Daily Mail, Lingard said: “One day I was at Liverpool and someone didn’t pass the ball to me and I thought, ‘I can’t be doing this’.
“I walked out and said to my grandad, ‘Let’s stay at United instead’. I swear that was the reason.
“I felt more comfortable at United.
“I knew I had to make a choice. Grandad looked after me.
“He still comes now and then to support me and he still texts me before games.
“He is, ‘Do this, do that’. I go and see him and Nana and he asks, ‘What is the mood like?’ It’s like I am a young boy again, still getting advice. I like that. It’s good.
“Family is so important. You only get one and you have to make the most of them. They have always trusted me and trusted the United process.”
A few years ago many may have joked that it wouldn’t have made much of a difference but their tune has certainly changed after this season, which has seen Lingard hit heights not many imagined.
There are few players at United alert enough at times to move into spaces like Lingard and that’s the reason his figures this season are so impressive. The England international doesn’t stop working and never gives up.
It’s rather telling that all Sir Alex Ferguson, Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho have always been complimentary of Lingard as a footballer, yet some anonymities on Twitter thought they knew more? That’s what makes me laugh and I’m delighted to see Lingard burst through that this season and prove his doubters wrong.
Oh, and fair play for not sticking with Liverpool. I couldn’t imagine life without loving Lingard.