Victor Lindelof is Manchester United’s new Henrikh Mkhitaryan and will be eased into squad by Jose Mourinho


The Sweden international was left out of season opener against West Ham but Portuguese boss insists he’s a ‘fantastic player’

The Swede was left out of United’s squad for their 4-0 win over West Ham on Sunday after the Portuguese boss admitted Lindelof has struggled to adapt.

A lot of money was also spent on Benfica defender Victor Lindelof

A lot of money was also spent on Benfica defender Victor Lindelof

Mourinho claims his current squad is the best he has ever worked with

Mourinho omitted Lindelof from his squad amid worries about the defender’s form

Instead, the former Real Madrid boss chose Eric Bailly to partner Phil Jones in defence.

The defender endured a difficult pre-season with his new club and was particularly poor in Tuesday’s UEFA Super Cup defeat to Real Madrid.

Mourinho said he was forced to play Lindelof against his wishes due to the suspensions of Bailly and Jones..

Mourinho said of Lindelof: “I think Real Madrid was too early for him.

“He played because Jones and Bailly were both suspended. I’ve had players coming from different leagues to the Premier League and, normally, it’s not easy.”

He added:“I brought Ricardo Carvalho to Chelsea in 2004 and he was a phenomenal defender, one of the best central defenders in the Premier League, but he struggled.

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Victor Lindelof is known as 'Iceman' to his new Manchester United team-mates

Lindelof was dropped from Manchester United’s squad for the West Ham game

“It was difficult for him to come in and adapt in the beginning.

“I think Victor needs a little bit of time and he is going to have that time.

“Henrikh Mkhitaryan is not a defender but, last season, he needed his time too. So let’s go step by step because Victor is a fantastic player.”

A year ago Mourinho treated Mkhitaryan in a similar fashion following his £26.23 million arrival from Borussia Dortmund.

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Last season, the Armenia international was substituted at half-time on his full debut against Manchester City and did not feature in a starting line-up again for almost three months.

The Armenian was slowly integrated into the squad and flourished in the second half of the season.

Mkhitaryan said: “Lindelof is still going to have time to show himself.

“So I want to say all the players are good signings and they are going to help us a lot.”



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