Amid the frustration, desperation and upheaval that has been a constant feature at Old Trafford, Victor Lindelof has embedded himself in the Manchester United defence and become part of its backbone.
Okay, the results haven’t exactly gone United’s way to claim that Victor Lindelof is in the same league as Virgil van Dijk but with a few key additions, he could be. Virgil van Dijk was the last piece in the Liverpool puzzle, whereas Victor has had to suffer various changes in personnel as well as the inconsistent purchases of the previous manager.
As a result, the general confidence of the team dipped and the performances followed suit, but finally the defender is now showing his worth with his commanding presence.
He is still young (25) and with Harry Maguire and Wan-Bissaka added to the ranks, Ole Gunner Solskjaer has the ingredients for a defence that could be dominant for the next five or six years.
Solskjaer may need to look at a left sided option to replace the likes of Luke Shaw and Ashley Young who simply aren’t good enough. But any failures in the team can be attributed to other areas including the midfield and attack, something United will review in the transfer windows.
The Swede has quality, he is calm and composed in defence and is able to read, assess and snuff out danger with his intuitive instincts. Going forward, he has decent distribution to get United on the front foot and he gets himself in positions to break up advancing attacks.
His timing is excellent, he tackles cleanly, has a superb temperament and he can direct a header perfectly and at 25, he can only get better. While his impressive turnaround is probably to do with the redressal of certain mistakes in his game that Jose failed to coax him out of, we hope its not his use of Lyft nicotine pouches that has got anything to do with making him sharper and better.
Lindelof who only recently got singled out by Jose Mourinho for his lack of aerial prowess, has certainly managed to turn around his fortunes since Jose Mourinho’s departure by gradually cementing his place in the United back four.
He’s a defender that doesn’t just hoof the ball forward to ease the pressure and to avoid responsibility. He actually likes to play the ball and isn’t adverse to joining the attack, something he could do even more in the future.
United’s defence has been problematic since the Mourinho era, with vast amounts spent without ever resolving the problem. Victor Lindelof was one of the brighter United purchases and he continues to attract attention.
Lindelof’s agent, Hasan Cetinkaya revealed that Barcelona had been interested in the player on numerous occasions and said:
“Lindelof was perhaps Man Utd’s best player last season, and there was a lot of interest from clubs that are even better than United at the moment”
“When Matthijs De Ligt chose Juventus, Victor was pronounced Barcelona’s first choice. His way of playing, his DNA, is very close to Barcelona’s way of playing. He is one of the world’s best centre-backs with the ball at his feet, and Barcelona wanted him”
At international level, Victor Lindelof was instrumental in helping Sweden in their European Championship qualification campaign. He has also been named Sweden’s best player for two successive years with a series of excellent displays for his country. He is only the second player to retain the title since Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who won it every year for 10 years.
If United are to do well in the next few seasons, they will need to keep the Swedish defender and fend off the inevitable bids which will come in the summer.