Another day, another rumour linking Manchester United with Swedish prodigy Victor Lindelof.
Indeed, Portuguese publication O Jogo claim Benfica president Luis Filipe Vieira has travelled to England to hold talks with the Red Devils over a potential deal for the 22-year-old centre-back, worth just shy of £38million excluding add-ons.
This is by no means the first time we’ve heard murmurings of Lindelof joining the Old Trafford ranks. He was linked way back in May by Swedish outlet Afton Bladet and countryman Zlatan Ibrahimovic has since insisted to reporters that the promising defender is good enough to hold down a spot in the United first-team.
“I think Victor is doing great things, he is playing good for Benfica, he gets a lot of responsibility for the national team now, he is growing.
“Is he good enough for United? I think he’s good enough for the big clubs out there. It’s up to him what he wants and what the situation says. Whatever he chooses will be good for him.”
Ibrahimovic on Lindelof, November 2016
So, is Lindelof deserving of such attention from the Red Devils and such praise from his former Sweden team-mate? Well, the majority of United fans appear keen on the idea of Jose Mourinho bringing in defensive options when the transfer window opens in January…
And the eleven-cap international has certainly impressed for Benfica this season, as our infographic shows:
Whilst his accumulation of defensive actions may initially seem rather unspectacular, they’re also evidence of Lindelof’s positional awareness – putting himself in the right places at the right time to avoid committing himself into tackles and interceptions.
Likewise, instead of simply hoofing clear when the pressure’s on, the Benfica ace has looked to play out of the back instead, something his impressive pass success rate pays testament to.
United’s backline currently lacks a figure capable of bringing the ball into midfield and Lindelof’s ability to avoid the referee’s notebook – he’s yet to pick up a single booking this season – could be another potentially huge asset for the 13-time champions.