The 23-year-old became Mourinho’s first signing of the summer last month, arriving for a fee of £30.1m.
He has already impressed during pre-season wins over LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake City, defending sensibly and positioning himself well.
And Mourinho, speaking soon after the 2-1 win over Salt Lake City, noted that Lindelof’s shrewdness on the ball could prove crucial further down the line.
“His [Lindelof’s] quality of passing is always very good, he’s technically very good but obviously with three in the back, he has more freedom to attack spaces in midfield.”
The 54-year-old has been in the Premier League long enough to know that you simply cannot go through a whole season employing the same system each game and expecting to emerge triumphant each time. Variation isn’t just important but indeed vital, which is why we have already seen United playing three at the back during pre-season.
And Lindelof, you sense, was signed with this in mind. Mourinho dabbled with three at the back last year and will use it again, utilising the Swede as a ball-playing defender capable of stepping into midfield and efficiently moving the ball through the lines.