Jadon Sancho was not the only Manchester United player being utilised in a ‘new position’ late in the Carabao Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest.

Victor Lindelof came off the bench to play in midfield, rather than his usual position at centre-back.

This was no accident. Every decision manager Erik ten Hag makes is made for a reason, and Lindelof could have a more regular part to play at the position.

Manchester United are short in midfield amid injuries to Donny van de Beek, Christian Eriksen, and Scott McTominay.

READ: Confirmed Manchester United transfers in, out, loan deals for January 2023

Manchester United v Nottingham Forest - Carabao Cup Semi Final 2nd Leg
Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

Ten Hag on Lindelof

Speaking to the club website, Erik ten Hag says he is confident Lindelof has what it takes to operate as a defensive midfielder.

He explained: “Lindelof was educated as a six, as a controlling holding midfielder at Benfica, so I know he can do that and we already tried it before in training and maybe in one game.

“But also, there I also want my centre-halves playing sometimes in midfield positions so that we create different dynamics.

“So it’s just to construct more dynamic in the team.”

Ten Hag’s comments are fascinating. The possibility of utilising Lindelof as a defensive midfielder was a talking point among supporters during Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s tenure, with the club crying out for an option at the position.

Lindelof was needed more as a centre-back then, at present he is merely a back-up behind Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez, and Harry Maguire also competing.

So getting him involved as a defensive midfielder could enhance his chances of game time.

Erik ten Hag did this at Ajax, with Lisandro Martinez occasionally featuring in midfield, while Edson Alvarez also featured in both positions. Martinez could be another player Ten Hag experiments with.

The manager wants to be fluid tactically, this can help in-game, we have seen it already with Luke Shaw featuring at centre-back.

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