There are just ten days until Manchester United kick off their new Premier League season at home to Crystal Palace.
We have been granted a delayed start to allow for a period of rest after a testing 2019/20 campaign, but one player is seemingly still feeling the effects.
Many of United’s stars recently jetted off on an ill-timed international break, including Victor Lindelof.
He played the first of Sweden’s Nations League matches, a 1-0 defeat against Anthony Martial’s France on Saturday night.
But he was left out of last night’s 2-0 home loss against Portugal, missing a potential encounter with Bruno Fernandes.
Sweden boss Janne Andersson explained Lindelof’s absence after the match, making it clear Lindelof is still feeling the wear and tear from last season.
“[Lindelöf] played with Manchester United up until a few weeks ago and joined us after vacation,” Andersson told Fotball Skanalen.
“He was tired. We talked beforehand about him only playing one game. After the game against France, he felt very worn down.”
With no new centre half through the door, Lindelof looks set to partner Harry Maguire at centre half against Palace.
Eric Bailly and Axel Tuanzebe may be realistic challengers for his spot if they can maintain their fitness, but that didn’t happen much last season.
Does Lindelof’s conditioning exacerbate the need for a new central defender to come through the door before the end of the transfer window?
Perhaps, especially given United have experienced so many injury problems to defenders down the years, rendering them unable to build a reliable pairing until last season.
According to journalist David Ornstein, United aren’t prioritising landing a new recruit in that position.
He told the Tifo Podcast that’s not United’s pushing, pressing area of concern right now, so it looks as if Lindelof may be asked to push through the fatigue again when next season kicks off.
Manchester United fixtures after the international break
- Newcastle United (A)
October 17 – 3pm
- PSG (A)
October 20 – 8pm
- Chelsea (H)
October 24 – 5.30pm
- RB Leipzig (H)
October 28 – 8pm
- Arsenal (H)
November 1 – 6.30pm
- Istanbul Basaksehir (A)
November 4- 5.55pm
- Everton (A)
November 7 – 3pm
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