Having reached an agreement with Benfica over Swedish defender Victor Lindelöf, Manchester United fans can dare to dream that they could potentially have found a pairing that may live up to that of Vidic and Ferdinand, so successful during Ferguson’s time at the helm. Jose Mourinho’s first summer acquisition had been linked with United for several months now, and the manager seems to have finally gotten his man. But what can we expect from the 22-year-old?
Standing at 6ft 2in Lindelöf has the ability to go against the strongest of strikers in a physical battle, however his style of play often sees him starting attacks from the back, a quality seen in former United great Rio Ferdinand. He has even been given the nickname ‘The Iceman’ for his composure. Bringing his qualities and pairing them with Bailly’s, it could be the ideal partnership – a physical, all-action defender, complimented by one who can bring the ball up field – something Jones and Smalling haven’t quite been able to do in their time at the club.
Jose Mourinho is a manager who likes a strong and stable centre back pairing. During his first spell as Chelsea manager he had John Terry in his prime with Carvalho fresh from winning the Uefa cup. When he went to Internazionale he had Brazilian Lucio next to Walter Samuel. During his ill-tempered reign at Real Madrid, he had Ramos next to Pepe or Varane. A strong centre back pairing is something Jose Mourinho knows he needs and works to ensure it is there. The hallmark of all champions is a good defence.
The rumoured fee of £31million is a lot of money for a defender, however in this day and age – with Manchester city spending over £120 Million on three centre backs who have all flattered to deceive – £31 million pounds doesn’t seem too outrageous, especially for a player who has a developing pedigree. Already winning a league title and playing at a European championship, surely help mitigate any risk.
As a Manchester United fan it is refreshing to see United do their business early again, and it’s far and away a lot more reassuring than the David Moyes approach, exemplified by bringing Fellaini to the club on deadline day. Questions will be asked of the young Swede, however if Zlatan says you’re good enough for Manchester United, you clearly have a chance of making it. Can Bailly and Lindelöf help create a new Manchester dynasty? One that will sit up there with the best, only time will tell.
Featured image curtesy of the Mirror via Google.