Former Manchester United winger Andrei Kanchelskis has urged Jesse Lingard to be as consistent as Red Devils legend Dennis Irwin if he has to make it at Old Trafford. The 23-year-old has been a regular inclusion in the starting line-up since he came on as a substitute against Everton last October.
Lingard has featured in 18 matches in all competitions, scoring three goals and registering one assist in the process. His form for Louis van Gaal's side has been inconsistent and the former Russian international wants the winger to emulate Irwin's form to be successful at United.
"I know he [Lingard] is a good player, but not so consistent," Kanchelskis told 888Sport.com. "He plays well one game, then the next his level drops, followed by a poor game. Great players maintain their level."
"You need to play at a certain level for Manchester United in every game like Dennis Irwin, season after season. Lingard must be consistent if he is to make it at Old Trafford."
Lingard was on the scoresheet when the 20-time English champions sealed a comfortable 3-0 victory over Stoke City in the Premier League clash at Old Trafford on 2 February. United played attacking football against the Potters, something their supporters have been crying out loud in the earlier fixtures at home.
The Old Trafford faithful are used to a certain style of play as they enjoyed success over the past two decades under Sir Alex Ferguson. Kanchelskis claims United have lost their intimidation factor since Van Gaal took charge of the Premier League giants.
"I can understand the fans' frustration because for a long time Manchester United dominated English football and the Premier League and won trophies," the former United winger explained.
"There have been some difficulties for the club after Sir Alex Ferguson, who was obviously a great man and worked for a long time at Man United. The fans loved him. Now that's finished they have made some changes and they have lost their intimidation factor.
"If you get the ball out wide with wingers and play more aggressive there is more chance of scoring goals. Now it's normal for Manchester United to keep possession, pass, pass, backpass. There is no attacking.
"This is a different system and now it is cautious. We played 4-4-2 with wingers – myself, Ryan Giggs, Ronaldo, David Beckham. There were so many good wingers. But Van Gaal doesn't want to play with wingers," Kanchelskis concluded.