Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal believes Jesse Lingard’s long-term future could be as a number 10 rather than a winger after deploying him there against both Liverpool and Manchester City.

Van Gaal opted to start Juan Mata in a wider position against Liverpool as the Red Devils tried and failed to overturn a two-goal deficit against their great rivals in the Europa League.

However, the Dutchman wasn’t deterred by the result and kept Lingard in the hole on derby day as United prevailed by a Marcus Rashford goal to nil against City at the Etihad.

Despite him being primarily used as a wide player since breaking through into the first team, Van Gaal revealed after the game that he sees Lingard’s future in a central position.

He said: “That is why I have put him there but sometimes also I need a right winger who is fast.

“It’s also dependable on the opponent and the game plan, but I think Jesse is more of a midfielder than a right winger.

“He played there two times very well.”

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