“Not sure, but double the price of Lindelof sounds cheap to me!!” tweeted Jamie Carragher referring to Virgil van Dijk’s announcement as a Liverpool player.
I confess, I too laughed when I saw this tweet and to be honest, I almost agreed to this opinion until I looked myself in the mirror (I really did!). Now that I’m over that tweet-hangover, I can certainly say that Jamie is wrong (like many of his opinions).
Manchester United and Jose Mourinho cleared their intentions when they splashed a hell lot of money on Victor Lindelof and Romelu Lukaku. And surprisingly, these two players have received the most criticism.
Let’s forget about the latter for a while and focus on Victor Lindelof who was supposed to be the next pillar of defence of the Reds.
Unlike Lukaku, the Swedish defender had a dismal start to the season. All this started when United played a pre-season game against Real Madrid and Lindelof gave away a soft penalty by fouling Theo Hernandez.
His poor run of games continued when the season started and he continued making mistakes after mistakes. Poor performances and carrying on the tag of ‘the most expensive defender in the club’s history’ seemed to have got his confidence shattered, and Mourinho kept him away from the line-up for a good period of time.
Slowly but steadily, this is changing.
For some time now, Lindelof has been a regular presence in Jose’s first team and his performances have got better and better. When he came on against Manchester City, he looked a completely different player, and that game seems to have given him the confidence he badly needed.
His game-reading skills have caught my eye more than anything else. Whenever I see him playing well, he seems to be one step ahead of the attacker – a quality seen in great defenders. His quality on the ball has always been undoubted.
How many times have we heard the term ‘settling in’ when we address new players in the Premier League?
Perhaps, Lindelof is still ‘settling in’ the most intense football league in the world. Give him some time, play him in the right system, and you’ll have a player who’s ready to be the rock of the reds’ defence for years to come.
Written by Sandeep Sharma
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