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Has Victor Lindelof cemented his place in the Manchester United starting XI?

When the young Swede arrived at Old Trafford there was much excitement that Victor Lindelof could become a mainstay in United’s defence for years to come. But ever since his arrival in Manchester the former Benfica man, has failed to establish himself as a regular starter under Mourinho. Up until recently where he has had his most consistent run, bringing with it good performances.

Over the past few years, United have struggled to cement a consistent centre-back pairing, ever since the departures of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, but the 22-year-old was brought in and immediately compared to Ferdinand, which obviously brought some pressure with it. His ability to read the game, his speed and his defensive capabilities were just a few things that convinced Mourinho to part with £30 Million for a man with only 46 appearances for former club Benfica.

However, his time at Old Trafford has failed to really take off and he has only made six League starts for United this season. He has found the adjustment to English football really testing and told Sky Sports this week that; “Every game is difficult here”. It’s a far cry from the football he was used to playing in Portugal where, the style is slower and less physical, so his struggles to adapt have been understandable.

As well as his struggles to adapt to the style of football played in England, he came into a club where there was immediate competition for places, admitting; “We have world-class players in every position and I think it’s very important to have. This club is one of the biggest in the world, so you’re obviously going to have that.” He found is tough at the start of the season, where Eric Bailly and Phil Jones cemented a regular partnership and were in really good form.

Since Bailly’s injury back in December, Mourinho hasn’t been able to tie down a regular partnership and has been trying out different pairings, which has been tough for Lindelof to get a consistent run in the side. But recently he has started the last four games for the reds and is beginning to find his feet in the Premier League.

With the form of Smalling and Jones, coming under a lot of criticism over recent weeks and their futures being thrown into question, Lindelof will hope to take full advantage and begin to establish himself as a regular starter as the season enters its most important period. With Bailly slowly returning to full fitness, as well the Swede will be hoping to create a partnership will the Ivorian that Mourinho will be able to rely on.

With speculation surrounding potential defensive incomings in the summer, the 22-year-old really needs to make a statement from now until the end of the season, and convince the United boss he can be relied on. Over recent weeks he has been able to do that, he just needs to keep improving and show that the excitement that surrounded him when he came to Manchester wasn’t for nothing.

Written by Dan Pearce

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