Victor Lindelof can become a “great player” at Manchester United, according to ex-winger and fellow Swede, Jesper Blomqvist.
Lindelof arrived at Old Trafford from Benfica in a £30m deal in 2017 but initially struggled for form under Jose Mourinho.
Lindelof’s Old Trafford turnaround: Five key things to know…
- Lindelof made a £30m move from Benfica to United in 2017.
- The Sweden international initially struggled to adapt to the pace of English football.
- Since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replaced Mourinho at United, Lindelof has excelled at centre-back.
- Lindelof has won more aerial duels (43) and made more clearances (50) than any United defender during that time.
- Blomqvist believes his compatriot has the “mental strength” to become a United great.
However, since Solskjaer’s appointment in December, no Man Utd defender has won more aerial duels (43) or made more clearances (50) than Lindelof, with the 24-year-old rapidly growing into a leading role.
And Blomqvist, who was a part of United’s treble-winning side in the 1998/99 season, believes he has the ‘mental strength’ to find greatness with the Red Devils.
“I made an interview when he signed and I said you have to give him a little bit of time,” he said.
“But he has especially what I think is the mental strength to really become a great player. And that is the most important thing.
“Then he also has other attributes that I think will fit at United for a central defender: he is very confident with the ball and he is very fast as well, and strong one-against-one.
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“I think he’s shown all that now and the more he plays now, the stronger and better he will be, and more confident he will get.
“The way he has been playing and improving this season has been fantastic and I’ve been really proud as a Swede to see him play for United. I think he has been absolutely brilliant.”
Solskjaer has rediscovered United’s ‘DNA’
Despite doubts regarding whether he would be up for the task, Solskjaer has lost just five of his 23 games in the United dugout so far, which has now earned him the manager’s job on a permanent basis.
And although Blomqvist concedes that more defeats will come in the future, he is delighted to see the ‘United DNA’ coming back to the fore under his treble-winning teammate.
“I see myself more as a supporter now, a fan,” added Blomqvist.
“But it is coming back more to the DNA of United, how it was for almost 25 years. I mean, this is how I look at it.
“But you can win games, you can lose games, but as long as you try and really go for it and want to win the game and you show that on pitch, then you can lose a game.
“You can, of course, feel sorry that you lost but you are happy with the way you try to win it. That feeling, for me, is back.
“We’re going to lose more games, of course, during this season, but as long as you really try to win them, and then in the way try to attack.
“And also the other thing is about putting the faith in the youth again and really making them believe that it’s possible to become a regular Man United player.”