Victor Lindelöf needs to step up to the physical challenge

Manchester United fans will be hoping that Victor Lindelöf’s performances improve following the international break.

The former Benfica man has looked unsteady in the opening weeks of the season and his inability to win crucial aerial duels will have been picked up on by United’s future opponents.

Lindelöf was culpable for Crystal Palace’s opener in a shock 2-1 win for the visitors at Old Trafford and was also at fault for Southampton’s equaliser.

Jordan Ayew couldn’t believe his luck when he was given the freedom of Old Trafford after Jeffrey Schlupp outjumped Lindelöf.

United’s disappointing start to the new campaign continued with a 1-1 draw at Southampton, which raised further concerns around Lindelöf’s ability to physically impose himself on the opposition.

This time it was Jannik Vestergaard who leapt above the ice man to nod beyond a stricken David de Gea.

Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images

What’s gone wrong?

The addition of Harry Maguire was meant to bring an additional sense of composure to Lindelöf’s performances and there was a growing belief that the pair could conjure up the best centre back partnership at the club since the days of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand.

It’s not just the physical attributes of the Swedes game that are currently under par, usually so positive and accurate in possession, Lindelöf looks jittery with the ball at his feet and making rash panicky decisions which are putting United on the backfoot.

Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images

Since the confident start to the season against Chelsea, Lindelöf has inexplicably lost the ball in key areas and given teams the opportunity to launch a counter attack. 

Due to Maguire’s physical presence, strikers were aware before the season had even started that they would get more change out of Lindelöf. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be hoping his centre half can come out of this testing period stronger.

If Lindelöf continues to fall foul to the physical rigours of the English game, then there may be calls for academy prospect Axel Tuanzebe to be given a chance to impress after Chris Smalling was allowed to leave the club on loan and join Roma.

United face Leicester City after the international break and an in-form Jamie Vardy will no doubt relish the opportunity to test the confidence, strength and pace of Lindelöf.

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Passionate Football fan that completed a NCTJ-accredited Diploma in Multimedia Sports Journalism in 2016.