Manchester United secured an important victory at Goodison Park last night, coming from behind to beat Everton by two goals to one.
The victory was also significant for United centre-back Victor Lindelof, who celebrated his 200th appearance in a red shirt.
200 games in red. Proud day for me. Thanks so much for the support 🏼 pic.twitter.com/7WhlWzdICL
— Victor Lindelöf (@vlindelof) October 9, 2022
Lindelof signed for United at the age of 22, in a deal worth just over £30 million from Portuguese giants Benfica.
The Swede made 29 appearances in his first season, starting 25 times. He then went on to average over 40 games in the next three campaigns, racking up 40, 47 and 45 appearances, respectively.
Last season saw the centre-half play 35 times, which left him 4 shy of the double century he’s now achieved off the back of his 4 appearances under Erik ten Hag.
Now in his sixth season as a United player, Lindelof is playing under his third permanent boss, which underpins the ups and downs Lindelof has faced during his time at the club
Lindelof’s strongest season to date came in the 2020/21 campaign, which saw him strike up a decent partnership with Harry Maguire, leading to United finishing second in the Premier League and reaching a Europa League final, which ultimately ended in defeat.
The realisation that a second-place finish and runners-up in a cup final is considered a strong season for United probably defines Lindelof’s six-year period at the club – good, but not quite good enough.
His physicality and aerial ability have often been called into question during his time at Old Trafford, not least of all by the man who signed him, Jose Mourinho.
After leaving the club Mourinho said Lindelof could “be bullied one-on-one in the box” and described him as being “not very good in the air”.
Despite this, Lindelof’s attitude has rarely been questioned, his commitment to the cause has always been apparent and he has produced some high-level individual performances throughout his stay.
His ability on the ball has led to some eye-catching assists and he has become captain of his country whilst at United. Lindelof should be rightly proud of his achievement, having given his all over the last six years.
Despite not looking as though he is going to be first choice under Ten Hag, Lindelof’s performance in his milestone game last night was very strong and will give confidence to his latest manager that he can be called upon when needed, throughout the season.