United have announce that they have reached agreement to sign 22 year-old Swedish international Victor Lindelof from Portuguese Champions Benfica subject to a medical and agreement of personal terms. Lindelof is a robust centre-back who has occasionally featured as a right back. Should everything go to plan he will be United’s first signing of the summer.
Lindelof transferred to Benfica as a youth player in 2011 after starting his career at Vasteras SK in his homeland. He has progressed through the youth ranks in Lisbon making his senior debut in 2012-13 season and has since very gradually established himself in the side. This last season has been the first year that you could reasonably say that he was a regular making 32 league appearances as Benfica did a domestic double of League and Cup. In 2016 however he had already been selected in UEFA Champions League Breakthrough XI, a side intended to pick out the best young talent emerging in UEFA’s senior club competition.
Lindelof has represented Sweden at Under-17, Under-19, Under-21 and senior level, (he has 12 senior caps at the time of writing) and was part of the Swedish side who won the 2015 UEFA Under-21 championship and in last summer’s senior Euro 2016 finals he featured in all Sweden’s group games.
At 6’2” tall Lindelof is a big athletic player whose physique is ideally suited to centre back play. As a predominately right sided player one wonders where he will feature at United given that Bailly, Smalling and Jones are all predominantly right sided. It leads one to wonder whether one or both of Smalling and Jones may leave the club. We would be surprised if both left before Lindelof has adapted to life in the Premier League but would not be at all surprised in one of this pair were moved on.
So, all things being equal we say Victor Lindelof, welcome to Old Trafford.