Manchester United fans were far from pleased with Victor Lindelof‘s display during their side’s 1-0 defeat to Barcelona in Washington on Wednesday night.
The Swede had a point to prove after needlessly giving away a penalty – and failing to score one – during Man United’s 1-1 draw with Real Madrid last week.
But with Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez running at the 23-year-old with reckless abandon, he looked far from composed and couldn’t close down the space to keep the Catalans quiet.
And Man United fans were quick to point out that Jose Mourinho‘s £31m man was failing to impress at the back.
Lindelof better start packing and head back to Portugal.
— 𝘁𝗼𝘁𝗼𝗰𝘆𝗰𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗲 (@totocycline) July 27, 2017
Lindelof still hasnt impressed me…
— Ayo… (@FEYISAYOOO) July 27, 2017
The fact that Smalling & Jones are having a better game than Lindelof is worrying. He was supposed to replace 1 of them, not to be replaced.
— ConvolutedKepler186f (@Utibe_26) July 27, 2017
Perhaps the Portuguese is deliberately throwing Lindelof into the fire-pit as a means of initiation ahead of next season. Partnering with Chris Smalling against the MSN, probably the deadliest attacking triumvirate of our generation, was never necessarily going to end well, was it?
On a more serious note, a couple of rusty pre-season games shouldn’t prompt us to throw our toys out of the pram. Games like this are exactly what pre-season is for: to make mistakes, to feel stretched and ultimately improve as a result.
That said, there was something in the way Lindelof constantly struggled to close down space that was, to put it lightly, far from comforting. Perhaps he was overwhelmed by the opponent. Either way, he will know that his positional sense and overall presence at the back needs to radically improve over the next few weeks – something that would, you sense, be helped by playing alongside Eric Bailly.