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Lingard says he is now learning to cook and he is missing football

  /  autty

WhatsApp fitness plans, House Party with his team-mates and learning to cook... life has become a whole lot different for Manchester United's Jesse Lingard.

The England midfielder is known for his livewire energy but with the coronavirus outbreak having shut down football training grounds, he is having to find different ways to channel his creativity from home.

Footballers are not exempt from the guidelines around social distancing and working from home, meaning Lingard and his team-mates have had to get used to alternative measures.

"We have a WhatsApp group with the fitness coach," Lingard told Sky Sports News. "He's giving us daily fitness plans to do all week, so we're all keeping active.

"We're in contact with the manager and the coaching staff, seeing how they're getting on, so we're still a tight-knit group."

For Lingard, though, keeping active goes beyond fitness. He's using the time to learn new skills around the house.

"I've been in the kitchen more than I'm used to," he says. "I've not really cooked throughout my years so now is the perfect time to get into it a bit more."

He's also been getting creative on social media, posting his own version of the 'toilet roll challenge' to his 6.6m Instagram followers.

"It wasn't fake at all," he says.

"I keep getting nominated for all these challenges and it's only right to take part in them. I feel like they are getting everyone together."

Online connectivity has proved a vital tool during the coronavirus pandemic, with Lingard revealing he and his United team-mates have been busy on the popular 'House Party' app.

He has also been checking in on his former team-mates Ashley Young and Romelu Lukaku, with the Inter Milan players based in the heart of Europe's worst-affected region.

"I speak to Ash quite regularly on FaceTime," says Lingard. "He's with his family, keeping fit and staying active. I spoke to Rom, he's doing the same.

"We have to come together in these hard times."

Lingard says he "misses football a lot" and will only be happiest "when there's a ball at my feet".

But his message is loud and clear: "Stay home, stay indoors."