A starter for Manchester United, Lindelöf has been a fundamental part of the Red Devils defense line-up, especially after the arrival of manager Solskjær. After Mourinho signed the defender from Benfica back in 2017, he was only able to start 17 times under the Portuguese’s tenure. But he slowly developed himself into the defender, saving United (along with De Gea).
Ferdinand: "Since Ole has come you would say Rashford, Pogba and Lindelof have been the most improved. Those three have been standouts for me. David de Gea is the best keeper in the league by a mile.” #mufc [Goal]
— United Xtra (@utdxtra) April 1, 2019
After his absence from United’s roster against Watford, the general atmosphere regarding his absence was limited to an injury. But the reality has got a different side of the story altogether, and it’s not pleasant.
On Saturday, Manchester United hosted Watford, as the two sides locked horns with each other. The Red Devils ensured to grab all the +3 points available from this fixture. Youngsters, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial ensured the same by featuring on the score-sheet against the Hornets.
As United returned back to winning ways after the International break, an incident caught everyone’s attention. The fans at Old Trafford witnessed the absence of their Swedish wall, Victor Lindelöf.
Lindelöf wasn’t ruled out from the roster. Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær talked about his defender’s absence, before the fixture kicked-off, saying that absenteeism of Lindelöf was not down to being injured but ‘some issues’. He said to MUTV,
“It is a good team we have put out. There are still a couple that we are still nurturing,”
“Jesse (Lingard) and Romelu (Lukaku) are yet to play a full game yet, Victor is not injured, he had some issues. But the team is good, the training week has been really good. Good focus, good intensity. It looks alright.”
— United Xtra (@utdxtra) March 25, 2019
Lindelöf missed the fixture against Watford due to “family issues”. Reportedly, the Swedish international rejected a national call-up for friendlies against Romania and Norway. For Saturday’s game, his wife, Maja, brought the couple’s newborn son to Old Trafford, and watched goals from Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial from the stands, which helped the hosts ease past their visitors.
Last week, his wife Maja Nilsson prepared to give birth to their first son. Due to missing out on Sweden’s matches during the international break, Lindelöf received death threats. Lindelöf gave an interview with Swedish outlet Viasat last Tuesday, where he said:
“I have not followed it so much but focused on what has been important to me and that is Maja. People always wonder what lies behind things. What I cannot understand is how people cannot respect that it is a personal reason.”
Lindelöf’s experience with such threats sets an example of psychological satisfaction, and importance of psychological health required in a game of football (which is usually counted under the broad category of physical). In times, such as these, a person looks upon his/her family, and Lindelöf is looking upon his family for the same.
Victor Lindelof receives death threats after missing international duty to be his wife at the birth of his son.
What is wrong with people?
— ᗷIᒪᒪ ᖇIᑕᕮ 🎙📻 (@billrice23) March 26, 2019
We stand with Lindelöf, as he’s been United’s most improved player this season after cementing his spot at centre-back, and Lindelöf can silence these threats with his performance with United and the Swedish national team.