Victor Lindelof’s summer transfer to Manchester United had been in the pipeline since at least January, suggesting Jose Mourinho was intent on signing the Swedish defender for some time before that, but his early performances for the Red Devils inevitably make you wonder why.
Lindelof looked exceptionally shaky during his first appearance for the Red Devils in the European Super Cup and while that could perhaps be explained by the incredible talent in Real Madrid’s forward line, his follow-up outings haven’t given much cause for optimism either.
In fact, the 23-year-old was nothing short of hopeless when he replaced Phil Jones against Huddersfield on Saturday, culpable for both goals in a shock 2-1 defeat for Jose Mourinho’s side. Tom Ince’s mazy run left Lindelof dumbfounded and twisted as the ball ricocheted to Aaron Mooy for a superb finish on the rebound, while the second concede was something else altogether – the 16-cap international missing a simple header to allow Laurent Depoitre through on goal.
Aside from the mistakes, Lindelof’s contribution was glaringly limited; just one aerial duel won, one interception and one clearance made in the space of 67 minutes.
Of course, it’s not easy to acclimatise to the Premier League, particularly for young players. But having looked so drastically out of his depth thus far for United, it’s hard to imagine exactly what Mourinho saw in the Benfica man and accordingly creates doubts over his ability to adequately judge players. That may seem a tad hyperbolic, but it was the Portuguese who made Lindelof the third-most expensive centre-back in United’s history.
With Jones and Eric Bailly both potentially sidelined for the weekend, though, Mourinho could find himself dependent on Lindelof once again when Tottenham Hotspur travel to Old Trafford in Saturday’s early kickoff. Harry Kane could have a field day.