Jose Mourinho, the Manchester United boss, reportedly handed a three-man shortlist consisting of Virgil Van Dijk, Victor Lindelof and Michael Keane – his three defensive targets ahead of the upcoming campaign. United had a frustrating Premier League season as they managed to finish 6th in the league table. However, a League Cup triumph uplifted their spirit and the Europa League title guided them to qualify for the prestigious Champions League competition for the 2017-18 season.
Manchester United, however, have confirmed the signing of Swedish international Victor Lindelof who has been on their radar for a long time. The Benfica centre-back was one of Jose’s primary transfer targets and the Portuguese tactician believes that his defensive concerns are now all sorted following this £31million signing.
Lindelof, 22, might not be a familiar name in the football circuit, but the Red Devils supporters should be excited about their new recruit who played a massive part in Benfica’s Primeira Liga winning campaign.
Lindelof is only 22 and holds a bright future ahead for both club and country. He has been utilized in multiple defensive roles and deputised splendidly in an unusual right-back position and also as a defensive midfielder. He has settled in well in a three-man back-line and his versatility is a major augmentation for the Portuguese gaffer.
Mourinho, who suffered because of significant injury absentees in the form of Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, and Marcos Rojo, was keen to increase his defensive depth and has now found a solution in Lindelof ahead of the upcoming campaign. However, Eric Bailly has delivered some stellar performances in his debut season and is expected to form a formidable defensive pairing with the new arrival for the long-term.
Lindelof became a first-team regular for the Portuguese champions last campaign and flourished rapidly as he made 57 appearances for his club and country. His calmness is a big reason behind his expeditious upsurge. His marking, blocking, tackling and intercepting skills are the traits of a future star. At such a young age, he has enormous game-reading attributes wit a stupendous sense of positioning. His no-nonsense defending as well as ball playing proficiency have made him Manchester United’s first summer arrival of 2017.
Manchester United, the Premier League heavyweights, invested extensively in order to reconquer the league title, and appointed Mourinho as the manager last year, who is hailed for his winning mentality. Lindelof holds the temperament of achieving greater glory and despite missing out on a place in the final squad initially, he proved his worth in the 2015 UEFA European Under-21 Championship by scoring the ultimate spot-kick in the tie-breaker against Portugal in the tournament final.
He was included in the ‘Team of the Tournament’ following his stellar show after replacing Emil Krafth who was ruled out of the competition due to a back injury. He made his senior debut the following year and has become a first team regular ever since. He was promoted to Benfica’s senior side as well and played a massive part in their back to back league triumphs.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the Swedish legend who has not been retained by the Red Devils for the upcoming campaign, praised his countryman in his recent interview:
“He is growing. He has a lot of responsibility with the national team now. Is he good enough for United? I think he is ready for the big clubs out there.”
All in all, Manchester United have done a great piece of business by bringing Victor Lindelof to the club and the fans have all the reasons to get excited about this.
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