But Victor Lindelof has undoubtedly been one. When he arrived from Benfica last season, the Swede looked unsuited to the demands of English football.
He was timid and unable to deal with the pace and directness of the Premier League and that impacted his ability on the ball; the composure he had been brought to the club to provide was lost amid the nervousness of attempting to avoid making any more mistakes like the one at Huddersfield last October.
Jose Mourinho wanted a new central defender in the summer but his failure to land one has allowed Lindelof the opportunity to shine this season and he has certainly made a fresh start.
Following a strong World Cup as Sweden made it to the quarter-finals, Lindelof has been by far United’s best central defender this season; alongside Anthony Martial, he has been the best player full-stop.
His progress is exemplified by the fact he was this week named as his country’s best player for 2018 and amid a two-week period that could become quite a long one for Reds fans, that is a bright spot to hold on to.
It may also help to allay fears about Fred and Diogo Dalot’s failure to settle immediately; Lindelof is an example of someone who took some to adjust to life at Old Trafford but is now shining.
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