Manchester United summer signing Victor Lindelof could struggle in the Premier League – Pardew
Lindelof, who joined the Red Devils in June, has featured regularly throughout United’s pre-season and is expected to start in their opening game of the season where they will face off against West Ham.
Having cost United £31m, Lindelof has looked shaky at times during pre-season and although United have so far managed to fill in key positions this transfer window, Pardew expressed his doubts that the Swede is up to the challenge of the Premier league.
Victor Lindelof's Primeira Liga season by numbers:
1,744 passes completed
69 aerial duels won
17 tackles won
Man Utd bound. ✈️ pic.twitter.com/otUhxzmDlV
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) June 11, 2017
“I thought United’s signings were particularly good with Romelu Lukaku at the top of the pitch, Nemanja Matic in that midfield role and Lindelof at the back,” he told Sky Sports.
“They needed a centre-back in particular but Lindelof’s performance against Real Madrid was concerning and there’s been a bit of concern over him in pre-season.
“They’ve had injuries in that area,” Pardew added. “Smalling never seems to play a full season and Jones is always injured so there’s going to be huge pressure on Lindelof.
“At the moment I think he’s finding it a struggle. Benfica and Portuguese league is not the challenge the Premier League is week in, week out. The intensity of set plays and the pressure put on central defenders is very, very difficult.
“I always remember Sir Alex Ferguson saying to me that at United, because you are Manchester United, your two centre-backs have to deal with two-on-two situations.
“You have to deal with one-on-one situations because you commit all your players forward to try and win the game with the opposition defending so deep. Lindelof’s one-on-one play worries me.”
Do Manchester United have a good enough defence?
Despite the famous Vidic – Ferdinand partnership came to an end in 2014, under Morinho United are once again forming a solid defensive unit.
Last season United ranked first in defensive by Sqauwka’s performance score. They also set a new unbeaten record, going undefeated for 25 Premier League games.
If there is anyone capable of developing Lindelof into a word class defender, Mourinho is the man to do it.