In an era of rotation and up to 60 games per season, no player is truly undroppable.
But lately it seems Victor Lindelof is pretty close to it in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s eyes.
United named the same starting line up for the fourth successive Premier League fixture last night.
No player had question marks heading into game like Lindelof. He was taken off at half-time against Bournemouth with a back injury, and then missed training on Monday as a precaution.
Even in midweek, Solskjaer told the club website: “I’m not sure if he’ll manage the Villa game, but he might do.”
Unlike some positions, where United really do not have a viable alternative to Bruno Fernandes, the club have a ready made stand-in for Lindelof, with Eric Bailly.
When it comes to big games, which every match is right now, Solskjaer evidently considers Victor Lindelof undroppable.
Into his third season in an up and down spell at United since his £31 million move in 2017, Lindelof has convinced the man who truly matters, his manager.
Lindelof of course didn’t let United down. He was a class act against Villa, barely putting a foot wrong and completing 93 per cent of his passes.
A rest may be due, and the pick could make sense
While it looks like Lindelof may be undroppable to Solskjaer, he may actually be left out on Monday.
Next week United have two fixtures, on Monday at home to Southampton and on Thursday away at Crystal Palace.
We fully understand Solskjaer’s penchant for naming an unchanged team, but there has to be rotation somewhere, at some stage.
One way to go may be for Lindelof, and possibly one or two others, to sit out at home to Southampton, and then return refreshed for the trip to Selhurst Park days later.
If that is the plan, then it made sense to go Lindelof, Bailly, Lindelof for the three games, rather than Bailly last night and then Lindelof twice in four days, or likewise if going Bailly, Bailly, Lindelof.
Solskjaer has made clear how highly he rates Lindelof, though and that is tough on Eric Bailly, who must be desperate for a chance.
At this rate it wouldn’t be a surprise if Lindelof ends up starting the next two games as well.
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