On the 10th June 2017, Manchester United announced that they had reached an agreement with Benfica over a proposed deal for the highly-rated young central defender Victor Lindelof.
Although Lindelof had been playing in the Portuguese top-flight, he was regarded as an immensely promising young defender and, with a handful of international caps already under his belt, the Red Devils faithful were thoroughly delighted by their acquisition.
Bailly and Lindelof new Rio and Vidic remember this tweet
— SamGSY (@samgsy98) June 10, 2017
Yes!!! Pleased with this!! Hopefully the Michael Keane link is well dead after this! Bailly and Lindelof
— Nika Dozmina (@aijandz) June 10, 2017
Best CB in the world. Literally a world beater, anyone who says otherwise needs brain surgery
— James Groom (@Jimgroom92) June 10, 2017
Yessssssss…. We’ve signed a player… From Benfica…
— Möhiuddin Khän (@Mohiuddin15151) June 10, 2017
This is crazy. He’s been my favorite player since I was born
— Iseunife The First (@Shawnife_) June 10, 2017
NEXT NEMANJA VIDIC!!
— Ali (@aliarfan_) June 10, 2017
However, the initial hype surrounding Lindelof’s arrival was quickly replaced by a familiar feeling of frustration for United supporters as the new recruit failed to rectify the defensive issues which are deep rooted in the club’s recent history – if anything he made them worse.
Mourinho was initially reluctant to include Lindelof in his match-day squad in the early stages of his debut campaign, but he was eventually given a chance to shine against newly-promoted Huddersfield at the John Smith’s Stadium after Phil Jones was forced off with an injury after just 23 minutes.
Buoyed by the prospect of welcoming one of the world’s greatest football clubs to Yorkshire, the Terriers faithful were determined to provide the 12th man for David Wagner’s men, and Lindelof failed to cope in the boiling cauldron of a true Premier League battle.
With United already 1-0 down courtesy of the former Man City prospect Aaron Mooy, Huddersfield stopper Jonas Lossl sent the ball long with a goal kick which appeared destined to plonk on Lindelof’s head for a routine clearance, but he misjudged the flight of the ball and allowed Laurent Depoitre to have a clean run at David De Gea before he slotted past the onrushing Spaniard to put Huddersfield in dreamland.
Unfortunately for Lindelof his glaring mistake immediately tarnished his reputation amongst the supporters and he’s never quite managed to repair either the opinion of the supporters nor his own confidence.
An impressive set of performances alongside Sweden veteran Andreas Granqvist during the World Cup demonstrated how effective Lindelof can be, but he still has a long way to go to prove he is up to the standard of marshalling a title-challenging back-four at Manchester United.
Considering how Lindelof’s career has panned out since he joined United last summer, it’s fair to say the supporters will be shocked to see how his transfer was received by the fans on Twitter last summer.
Man United fans – thoughts on Lindelof’s career so far and his prospects at United?
Let us know below!