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José Mourinho to take his time with ‘sluggish’ Victor Lindelöf

The Swedish defender didn’t even make the bench in the victory over West Ham on Sunday.

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Real Madrid v Manchester United: UEFA Super Cup Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

It could be a while before we see Victor Lindelöf featuring regularly for Manchester United — at least according to Tuesday’s Daily Telegraph. Journalist James Ducker claims that José Mourinho is looking to ease the Swedish centre-back into the notoriously pacy Premier League, just as the United boss took his time in introducing Henrikh Mkhitaryan last season.

Lindelöf — who joined from Benfica at the start of the summer — didn’t even make the bench as United smashed West Ham United 4-0 in the first game of the Premier League campaign, and has apparently matched a rather patchy pre-season by looking “sluggish” in training. Mourinho, evidently unfazed, has still made favourable comparisons with Portuguese legend Ricardo Carvalho. Quoted in the same article, the United boss said:

“I brought Ricardo Carvalho to Chelsea in 2004 and he was a phenomenal defender, one of the best central defenders in the Premier League, but he struggled. It was difficult for him to come in and adapt in the beginning. I think Victor needs a little bit of time and he is going to have that time.”

This all sounds like perfectly sensible stuff, and United have sufficient depth at centre-back that Lindelöf can afford to take his time. Let’s hope he parachutes into first team action in December as a Carvalho clone. That would be nice.