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Is Victor Lindelof The Answer To Manchester United’s Defensive Woes?
It would be fair to state that Victor Lindelof has needed a substantial amount of time to settle in in England. The former Benfica defender was a huge hit in Portugal but United are yet to see him at his brilliant best at Old Trafford. However, Jose Mourinho has placed great faith in Lindelof in recent weeks and he could find himself a regular in the United starting line-up. Defensively, the Red Devils are crying out for a leader and Lindelof can be their main man.
As of September 12th, United are languishing down in mid-table after a slow start to the 2018/19 campaign. The Red Devils got back to winning ways against Burnley in their most recent Premier League fixture though and Lindelof is ready to make a big impression on England’s top flight. He hasn’t quite cut it at this level since joining from Benfica; United are waiting for a return on their initial £31 million investment.
Three changes to the #MUFCside, with starts for Lindelof, Fellaini and Alexis!
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) September 2, 2018
Some fans are caught in two minds on whether Lindelof is the right fit at Old Trafford. Put an experienced central defender alongside him and the Swede would flourish. Lindelof has been rather unfairly thrown into the centre-back position with a huge weight of expectation on his shoulders.
In 2018/19, he has dealt with this relatively well with the odd blip but the Red Devils would be wise to invest in a world-class defensive partner in the January transfer window.
Lindelof has started to adapt to the speed and physicality of Premier League football and he now looks primed to enjoy the biggest campaign of his professional career. The Sweden star has had to deal with his fair share of injury issues since moving to England but he has coped well since then.
He was formidable in United’s recent victory over Watford and, helped by a number of lifestyle changes, including adopting the ever-growing Snus, he is arguably in the best shape of his career. According to taxfreesnus.com, more and more Premier League footballers are choosing to use Snus over traditional tobacco. England striker Jamie Vardy is just one of those who, like Lindelof, has made the switch and players are benefiting directly from this move.
That slight shift in lifestyle choice has helped Lindelof to relax and Jose Mourinho will expect big things from his central defender in 2018/19. The former Benfica man has already started four competitive fixtures for United this season – he started 17 in the whole of last season. It would be foolish to make any concrete predictions regarding the Swede but this could be his time to step up and make one of the Old Trafford centre-back positions his own.
Eric Bailly seems to have fallen out of favour whilst Chris Smalling and Phil Jones aren’t the most reliable defenders in England’s top flight. United’s defensive problem has been well documented and the Red Devils cannot afford to play the entire campaign with one of these three players supporting Lindelof.
United have been crying out for a defensive star since the likes of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand left the club – Lindelof may be the answer. We’ve seen enough from the Sweden international to recognise that he has improved after his exploits at the 2018 World Cup and United supporters are willing to give him another chance to prove his worth. Watch this space, 2018/19 could be the year of Victor Lindelof.