According to reports, newly-promoted Wolverhampton Wanderers are interested in signing Manchester United centre-back Victor Lindelof.
Lindelof joined United from Benfica last summer but is yet to fully convince manager Jose Mourinho despite starting 25 games this term. Wolves are planning to give the Sweden international the opportunity to prove himself with a temporary move away from Old Trafford.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s Wolves stormed to the Championship title this season, returning to the top-flight for the first time since 2012. Santo is out to improve his defence ahead of a return to the Premier League and believes that the £120,000-a-week Lindelof would be the perfect man to do so.
While signing Lindelof could be a statement of intent from Wolves, it won’t be the wisest of acquisitions for Santo.
Since joining Manchester United, Lindelof has failed to adapt to the Premier League. He seemed like the ideal man to partner Eric Bailly and deliver calm, composed performances at Old Trafford but the scripts have gone wrong.
Regardless of playing 31 times across all competitions this season, the Swedish defender has consistently failed to break into the first-team. He has failed to convince the United boss with his performances as Mourinho has preferred Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Eric Bailly ahead of the 23-year-old.
While Lindelof did well in the second half of the season, one cannot forget his howler which led to United’s infamous 2-1 defeat at Huddersfield Town. Being an experienced centre-half, the 23-year-old missed an easy clearance, which saw Huddersfield striker Laurent Depoitre take full advantage of.
It was a nightmare start to life in the Premier League and while he has left it behind and improved massively, the Swede still lacks the confidence and aggressive nature which Mourinho expects from his defenders.
It is important to note that Lindelof isn’t young as one may consider but at 23, he still has a lot of room for development. It could be argued that a brief spell away from Old Trafford is the right solution to regain the Swede’s confidence.
However, as enticing as it may look for Wolves to capture the signing of a defender of Lindelof’s quality and calibre next season, Santo must simply avoid it. It wouldn’t be a gamble worth taking as Lindelof is yet to fully adapt to the demands of the Premier League.
Lindelof is neither reliable nor commanding and needs time to prove his worth at United. Wolves should resist signing the United centre-back for their Premier League challenge.