The Swede became Mourinho’s first signing of the summer back in June, arriving from Benfica for £31m, but has failed to breach his Premier League plans, receiving a place in the match-day squad on just one occasion.
His only appearances in a Man United shirt have come against Real Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup, FC Basel in the Champions League, and Burton Albion in the League Cup.
And Mourinho, speaking at a press conference ahead of United’s clash with CSKA Moscow, noted that he would continue to phase Lindelof in at Old Trafford over the next few months.
“Victor will be given time and no pressure for his evolution,” he said.
“He is a very specific position on the pitch and he needs time. And we will give him time but also opportunities but just time and no opportunity the evolution gets slower.
“He needs time and no pressure. The fact he played against Basel and in future he will have more opporutnity to play he will improve step by step.”
Mourinho knows better than most managers that, wherever you come from, some time is needed before you can compete at the level he wants in the Premier League. Henrikh Mkhitaryan, after all, came to United after being named Bundesliga ‘Player of the Year’ and had to wait until December before receiving a regular place in the starting XI.
And Lindelof may indeed go down a similar road. Throwing him in at the deep end would only serve to dampen his confidence and stunt his growth at United. Supporters will just hope to see him become a viable option at the back sooner rather than later.