Over the summer, Manchester United spent big money to bring in Victor Lindelof from SL Benfica. The 23-year-old is a relative unknown for the most part, and it was certainly interesting to see how he got on against the top quality opponents, particularly whilst in the United States.
I think it’s fair to say that so far, Lindelof has been a bit of a mixed bag. We’ve seen the quality he possesses in bunches, but there have been times when he has shown an inexperience and immaturity.
The Real Madrid game was tough for him. He gave away a needless penalty that gave our opponents a way back into the game, and he also missed his penalty in the shootout that followed.
After United’s 3-0 victory over Valerenga, Jose Mourinho gave his assessment on the one they call the ‘Iceman’, and it seems like the gaffer is pleased so far. Although he has admitted that he will need time to fully adjust to life at the Theatre of Dreams – which obviously makes sense.
“Step by step. Benfica is a giant club, I always think that players coming from Benfica come mentally ready because it is a big club and the responsibility to play for them makes players ready.” Jose Mourinho told the official Manchester United website.
“But the Portuguese league is different and has different qualities. Benfica is one of the dominant teams, so he’s more used to playing with the ball than without the ball, so he needs his time and we are going to give him his time to develop. Such a young player needs time. Manchester United is a huge club with huge responsibility; the Premier League is the same. So let’s give him time, but we’re happy with what he is doing, step by step.”
Playing for one of the biggest sides in the world is never easy, and when you couple that with the prospect of moving to a new country in general, it will take time for Lindelof to get used to his new surroundings.
I guess the issue is that we’ll now always compare him to Eric Bailly. In that regard, the Ivorian was a freak. He came in, and from day one, Bailly has been our best defender. However, not everyone is like that and different people react in different ways.
With that said, I reckon the partnership of Lindelof and Bailly will be the one we start the season with, and I’m excited to see how it develops and grows.