Victor Lindelof believes he is in superb shape heading into his second season at Manchester United following an excellent summer at the World Cup with Sweden.
The defender, who became Jose Mourinho’s first signing of last summer, only managed 17 Premier League appearances in his opening campaign at Old Trafford after initially struggling to acclimatise to life in Manchester.
Lindelof’s performances at the World Cup, however, served as evidence of his ability to deliver composed displays on the biggest of stages, giving supporters hope he could finally secure a regular spot in the starting XI.
Speaking earlier this week, Lindelof made note of how he was feeling in fine shape ahead of the 2018/19 campaign.
“I feel great,” he said.
“I had a good summer. First, I got married and had an amazing time, then I played in the World Cup, which was also a great experience.
“And after a good rest, I’m back here and ready for what’s to come. It’s always nice to get a good start, as that gives you more confidence and you can be more relaxed.
“It’s a very tough, competitive league with a lot of great teams. Every game matters and we’ll try our best to win them all. We have to get that winning mentality in every game, in every situation – we have to be 100 per cent in everything we do.”
The 24-year-old suffered from teething problems last year, which was fair enough. His two main problems early doors were the sheer speed and then the muscle of English football, putting his positional sense into jeopardy. It took until around January for Mourinho to start trusting him in big games.
Bit by bit, though, Lindelof has emerged from his shell. His positioning at the World Cup was superb; his use of the ball was even better, and something United can benefit from.
So much of football at this level is won or lost in the mind. And Lindelof, following a watershed summer, will head into the new campaign with a sense of genuine confidence. He could end up feeling like a new signing altogether.