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Why Jesse Lingard is always worth celebrating

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Jesse Lingard has a knack of turning up when he’s most needed.

Middlesbrough v Manchester United - Premier League Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Some of them are just simply chosen. There are lots of them in the world of football and we cannot deny their existence, even if we wanted to: those footballers that are born for the big stage, for the limelight of the great moment. Now, we're not talking about playing in big clubs or big leagues, scoring lots of goals or winning many trophies. We're not talking about that type of footballer (but they are also very important, of course).

Jesse Lingard did it again at Wembley, scoring past Fraser Forster after a beautiful link-up play between Marcos Rojo, Anthony Martial, Juan Mata and the Englishman himself. It was a classy finish for a great goal; another one for Lingard's surprisingly amazing compilation. A player that shows up for the big moment, the Dab Master. He turned in another great display against Middlesbrough on the weekend, earning the man-of-the-match award and netting a screamer in a crucial victory.

So... why does Lingard divide opinions so much among the United following?

While no one argues Jesse's love for the club and the fact he is United through and through, a certain sector of the fanbase has never been pretty used to his antics, his lack of consistency or the fact that he combines moments of the spectacular (you're hardly going to see Lingard score an ugly goal) and for the awfulness of it all (some epic misses during vital Premier League matches).

Regardless of opinions, the academy product has proved to be a pretty good option on finals and has been able to offer something different to this weird equation that is Mourinho's first United side: the ability of the unexpected.

It's easy to call Lingard a workhorse because you'll probably be spot on with that; he's a player that runs his socks off, tries to press, doesn't mind doing the dirty work and can accept a role coming from the bench, without damaging the dressing room. The epitome of the squad player, if you will.

But what makes Lingard so unexpected is his consistency to do things that only a handful of players can do: the ability to score brilliant goals out of nowhere. Sure, you may see that coming from Zlatan, Cantona, Le Tissier, Zidane or Messi, but you wouldn't associate that with a player that is mostly known in the wide spectrum of football as Paul Pogba's Dab partner. And yet, if you see the rest of his goals, not just the ones he scores in finals, you will see brilliant headers, acrobatic ones (the one he scored against Chelsea last season), cool finishing against the keepers and a lot more. You also see him doing some nice link-up like in the group stage of the Europa League this season.

Lingard is capable of the best and the worst; a bizarre combination of football's heaven and hell. But there's something curiously satisfying with that and something that, as fans, we feel identify with; there's something pretty mundane and pretty epic about Lingard's playing style that makes him so divisive among fans: some would love him (yours truly) and some would hate him (here in South America, for example, most fans can't stand him, goals for titles notwithstanding).

But that's The Dab Master’s nature: the genuine representation of a Manchester United fan on the pitch mixed with the capacity of doing goals that only some of football's aristocracy can do on regular basis (Lingard can't do it on regular basis, to be fair).

If you are reading this and you are a Manchester United supporter, then you had dreams of playing in Old Trafford and being one of those chosen few that can make a difference in the times of pressure. You might not do a good job all the time, but your heart is in the right place and you want to score that screamer on extra-time in Wembley to send all United fans in the world to fall victim to a glorious paroxysm.

If you are like that, then you're Jesse Lingard.