Jose Mourinho told Victor Lindelof has turned corner at Man United
BBC Sport pundit Garth Crooks believes Victor Lindelof has turned a corner at Manchester United
Victor Lindelof has come to terms with the pressure of playing in the Manchester United team, according to BBC Sport pundit Garth Crooks.
Lindelof produced a solid performance in Manchester United’s 2-1 victory over Everton at Old Trafford last weekend to help the club record their fifth win of the season.
The former Benfica defender started in the heart of Manchester United’s defence for their 2-1 win over Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon.
The Sweden international arrived at Manchester United in the 2017 summer transfer window as Jose Mourinho spent £30m on the Benfica defender to improve his back four.
However, Lindelof struggled to make the step up to the Premier League in his first season at Old Trafford to raise questions about his quality despite his impressive spell at Benfica.
Lindelof started 13 times and made four appearances from the bench to prompt scrutiny of Mourinho’s defensive signings in recent transfer windows.
But the Portuguese head coach has persisted with the Sweden international in the current campaign, perhaps inspired by his decent showing at the World Cup in Russia in the summer.
Lindelof has been Manchester United’s most consistent defence in a disappointing start to the 2018-19 season for the Red Devils, outperforming Eric Bailly, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones.
Former Spurs forward Crooks has singled out Lindelof for praise following his composed performances at the back in his second season in the Premier League.
“I have watched this lad perform for Manchester United with my head in my hands in utter despair at times. But not any more,” Crooks told BBC Sport.
“Playing at Old Trafford is all about coming to terms with the pressure and this is what Lindelof has done.
“Eric Bailly has buckled under that expectation but Sweden international Lindelof has stood firm under the most intense scrutiny and that was very evident against Everton. He has courage.”
Mourinho has signed two centre-halves since taking over the reins from Van Gaal, spending a combined £60m on Eric Bailly and Lindelof during his first two summer transfer windows in charge.
Manchester United finished in second place in the Premier League table last term but ended up 19 points behind champions Manchester City.
Mourinho has been brought in to end their five-season wait to get their hands on the Premier League crown after Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.