The 23-year-old became Mourinho’s first signing back in June, signing for £31m from Benfica, and has featured as centre back in pre-season and against Real Madrid.
He has failed to reassure supporters so far, however, receiving criticism for what was a shaky performance in Macedonia that saw him lose Casemiro for Madrid’s opening goal.
But Mourinho, speaking ahead of the clash with West Ham United, made it clear that Lindelof would be an importantly versatile asset at Old Trafford this season.
“Victor can play right-back and can play centre midfield, we got a centre midfielder and we got an attacking player,” he said. “Obviously the 25 per cent would be a player for another position playing from the sides.”
“But we have players and if we cannot strengthen the team in these areas we have people we can trust and go for it.”
Lindelof may have endured a difficult opening period in a red shirt, and as a 23-year-old coming from a comparatively slower league we ought to be sympathetic towards that.
More importantly, however, we should never forget that beneath the current neurosis lies a truly promising talent. Lindelof demonstrated in Portugal a capacity to look comfortable all over the pitch, clever in tight situations and adept at reading the game quickly.
He may need time, but make no mistake: writing off such a special talent now would be foolish.