Jesse Lingard continued his sensational form for West Ham by notching another goal and assist in the 3-2 victory over Wolves on Monday.
The England international is arguably the most in-form player in the Premier League at the moment. It’s a dramatic turnaround for Lingard as prior to joining, he hadn’t played a single minute of top-flight football this season.
He’s certainly making up for lost time in East London. In eight matches, the 28-year-old has scored six goals and picked up three assists. He’s also won two penalties, both of which have resulted in goals, even if he did score the rebound for one of them.
Stats don’t lie
As things stand, Lingard ranks third in the division for goals per 90 minutes (0.72) and fourth for assists (0.36) [WyScout]. He’s played 750 minutes overall and is averaging a goal or assist every 83.4 minutes for West Ham.
His form is astonishing, it’s no wonder he’s back in the national set-up. We haven’t had a player this creative since a certain Frenchman in the 2015/16 campaign.
Five years ago it was all about Dimitri Payet at West Ham. He’d scored nine and assisted 12 in the league as the Hammers pushed for the European places in their last season at Upton Park.
He had fans on the edge of their seats week in, week out. Payet was quite possibly the most elegant player we’ve ever seen in a West Ham shirt – he really was that good. Every time he was in possession you felt something would happen.
By comparison, Payet played 2761 minutes for the Hammers in the Premier League that season. His 21 goal involvements average out to an assist or goal every 131 minutes.
If you were to add his FA Cup stats, three goals and two assists in 513 minutes, the average dropped to every 125 minutes played.
Payet was so instrumental that year he was nominated for the prestigious Balon d’Or award. He came tied in 17th spot with Toni Kroos and Luka Modric of Real Madrid.
The pair had won the Champions League with their club, which shows the level Payet was playing at to draw with them.
He and Lingard are different players entirely. Payet was class on the ball and always three steps ahead of those around him. Lingard is lightening and dynamic. He drives us up the pitch and players buzz off of his energy.
With just eight matches to go, can Lingard do what Payet couldn’t? There genuinely is no reason why he can’t. The attacker is unplayable at times, Monday evening was no different.
Having a player of his quality in the XI lifts the entire side, much like Payet was able to do a few years back. We’ve got a real gem in our hands at the moment, let’s hope we do all we can to secure him for next season.
In other West Ham news, here are three things we learned in the 3-2 victory over Wolves.