Lindelof capable of proving doubters wrong
Victor Lindelof signed a new deal with Manchester United that runs until the summer of 2024 on Wednesday and it appears he may be proving his doubters wrong.
Sweden international Lindelof originally joined Manchester United from Benfica in 2017 but struggled to establish himself during his first season with the club, starting just 13 Premier League games.
A number of high-profile mistakes, most notably in a shock 2-1 defeat at Huddersfield Town in October 2017, left many United supporters wondering who they had signed, and former Red Devils boss Jose Mourinho also appeared unconvinced by his new recruit.
Lindelof continued to be used sparingly by Mourinho during the first half of last season, but the Portuguese coach was then relieved of his duties in December, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer being drafted in as his replacement.
The Norwegian appeared to take an immediate liking to Lindelof and he became a mainstay of the United defence for the rest of the season, while he has been an ever-present alongside summer recruit Harry Maguire at the start of the current campaign.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) September 18, 2019
It certainly appears Solskjaer sees Lindelof as a part of his long-term plans at Old Trafford and, at 25, the centre-back’s best years are still likely to be ahead of him.
However, the jury still appears to be out on Lindelof amongst United supporters, with defence being a weak point of the team under Solskjaer, as they have kept just two clean sheets from their last 16 Premier League games.
The general consensus is that Lindelof is currently the best option United have to partner Maguire, given the injury problems the likes of Eric Bailly and Phil Jones have suffered over recent years, but ideally supporters would prefer a new signing to come in sooner rather than later.
Lindelof may have the rest of this season to prove his worth as a United regular and if he and Maguire can tighten up the back-line then he could become a mainstay for years to come.
However, if he fails to seize his chance, then there will be calls for Solskjaer to sign a replacement next summer.
Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly and Issa Diop of West Ham United are just some of the defenders that have been linked with United in the past and it appears Lindelof is always just one mistake away from being cast aside by the club’s supporters if not his manager.
Who knows, Lindelof could have become a United great by the time he reaches the end of his new deal, although it seems more likely he will be plying his trade elsewhere long before that point.