Manchester United have confirmed that a positive Covid-19 test ruled Jesse Lingard out of their friendly at home to Everton on Saturday.
The 28-year-old returned to the club following his impressive loan spell at West Ham in the second half of last season, and was unfortunate not to find himself in England’s 26-man squad for Euro 2020.
A permanent move away is yet to materialise and Lingard has played a big part in United’s pre-season preparations thus far, but the club have announced that he is now self-isolating after testing positive for Covid-19.
“Really gutted to have tested positive after a good pre-season, luckily I feel fine and will follow the guidelines and be back with the boys on pitch very soon! Thank you for your support,” Lingard tweeted.
United did not disclose when Lingard received the positive test, but it’s likely that he will miss their Premier League opener against Leeds next week either through isolation or while he builds up fitness again.
Ahead of the visit of Everton, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was in good spirits ahead of the new season, despite the temporary loss of Lingard.
“We have built a playing squad with a good spread of ages – some really talented young lads, some very experienced senior professionals and some who are right in their prime – but what unites everyone, both the players and the staff, is the hunger and enthusiasm that we all have for success,” Solskjaer said (via manutd.com). “We are all ready to take that next step on our journey, and that requires constant evolution.
“We have already significantly strengthened our squad for the 2021/22 campaign with returning players and the signings of Tom Heaton and Jadon Sancho, and the impending arrival of Raphael Varane will bring another new dimension to our collective approach.
“There is plenty of cause for optimism and excitement ahead of the new campaign, and we know that we will have to consistently be at our best to get results this season. When I was a player, you could virtually bank on United or Arsenal winning the league every year, but now the division has so many strong teams that it’s very hard to call.”