Man Utd have just made their first signing of the summer in the form of Benfica’s Victor Lindelof.
The deal was made official on Man Utd’s website on Saturday stating, “Manchester United are pleased to announce that it has reached an agreement with Benfica for the transfer of Victor Lindelof, subject to medical examination, international clearance and personal terms. A further announcement will be made once the transfer is complete.”
Manchester United has reportedly paid £31 million pounds for the 22-year-old Swedish international.
Who is Victor Lindelof?
Victor Lindelof is a Swedish international who plies his trade at the centre-back position. Lindelof is a product of the famed Benfica youth system having joined the Portuguese club as a youngster in 2011. He made his senior debut for the club in 2013. And since his debut, Lindelof has gone on to become a top centre-back.
In the 2016-17 season, the Swede played 32 games for Benfica in the Primeira Liga and also managed to score 1 goal for the club.
Where will he fit in at United?
As per our understanding, Lindelof will go right into the thick of things and will partner Eric Bailly at the back. Mourinho this season has really struggled to find a solid defensive partnership. While Eric Bailly has been his mainstay, he has really found it difficult to find someone who will partner him. And Lindelof could certainly be the answer to his question.
If we go by the stats, Victor Lindelof is a player who has a superb eye for a forward pass. He has an average passing accuracy of 90%. And over 80% of these passes has been forward ones. So clearly he is someone who is always looking for forward options. He is also rock solid in defence as he has made a total of 119 clearances and 52 blocks throughout the season. Having a player who can build an attack from the back will definitely be an advantage for Mourinho. This would mean that players like Pogba and Mkhitaryan will not have to come down to pick up the ball and can play further up front.
But a downside towards his game is his tackling. Out of the 36 tackles that he has made, only 47% of them have been successful. And 47% is a percentage far to less as per the Premier League standards. The English top division is one of the strictest leagues in the world and the referees are very unforgiving. And mistimed tackles could easily end up in a yellow card. If Victor’s weakness is revealed before he settles down then other teams will surely try to use it to their advantage.
What does it mean for other defenders?
Jose Mourinho will try out the Lindelof and Bailly partnership in pre-season and we are hopeful that this will be the manager’s first choice pair. Marcus Rojo before his injury had formed a great partnership with Bailly in central defence. And he will most probably be the third defender. This means that other defenders like Smalling and Jones will fall further down the pecking order. United might also look to sell them off.
Man Utd also have Daily Blind who can also play in the centre-back role. But his place in the squad will not be much threatened because he also plays as a left back. So Mourinho will hopefully not let go of such a versatile player.