In the summer, talk was rife that Manchester United would sign a new centre-back.
Despite having Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, Chris Smalling, Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof on their books, the rumours abounded. On deadline day, they went into overdrive, but there was no Toby Alderweireld or Harry Maguire…and certainly no Diego Godin!
At first glance, and on early evidence, United suffered as a result. But Ed Woodward’s failure to secure a fourth summer signing may have an upside. After all, it has allowed Lindelof to play week in, week out and finally prove his worth.
The Swede’s quality was on show at the World Cup, and his performances this season are another step in the right direction.
The United defender was superb against Juventus and he can become every bit as effective for Mourinho as a player like Maguire would have.
United signed Lindelof from Benfica for £31million (BBC) and he is now justifying that outlay. He is confident on the ball, a great distributor and, most importantly, he has got used to the English game.
There were signs of his quality last season – that shaky performance against Huddersfield aside – and he did not deserve to fall into obscurity.
Thankfully United now know what they have got with a 24-year-old who is only going to improve in the years ahead.
United may have wanted a new centre-back back in August but they had the right one all along.