Who is Victor Lindelof? Benfica defender assessed after Manchester United deal agreed By Simeon Gholam
Manchester United have confirmed a deal to sign Victor Lindelof from Benfica subject to a medical and personal terms.
Sky Sports News HQ understands the fee agreed is £30.7m – but who is Sweden international Lindelof and what can United fans expect?
We take a look here…
Name: Victor Lindelof
Having started his career at Vasteras SK in the lower tiers of Swedish football, Lindelof signed for Benfica as a 17-year-old in December 2011.
It took him almost two years in the reserves before he finally made his first-team debut in October 2013. Still, however, his appearances for the senior side were few and far between until the 2015/16 season, when injuries gave him his chance to impress as Benfica competed for, and eventually won, the title.
Having not featured at all until January, Lindelof was thrown into action as a second-half substitute against Moreirense, and has since gone on to establish himself as a key part of their starting XI.
His form also saw him break into the Sweden squad for Euro 2016, a year after helping the Under-21 side to their European Championship win, and he started all three games as they crashed out at the group stage. He has since gone on to win 12 caps, and scored his first goal against Bulgaria last October.
Sky sources reported United’s interest ahead of the January window but Lindelof stayed at Benfica, winning a league and cup double.
It now appears the defender is set to become Jose Mourinho’s first signing of the summer.
Style of play
Built like a traditional centre-back and standing at 6ft 2in, Lindelof also possesses the mobility and technical ability to play as a right-back, as he has done on several occasions at international level.
He also has an ability to read the game that is reminiscent of Rio Ferdinand, rarely conceding fouls and picking up very few yellow cards.
According to reports in Portugal, Mourinho is understood to be particularly impressed with his speed as well as his defensive capabilities, seeing similarities between the Swede and Raphael Varane, who he managed at Real Madrid.
Did you know?
That Lindelof is known as “The Iceman” at Benfica due to his confidence and composure. Thrust into the side at such an important part of the season, Lindelof’s ability to remain cool under pressure was a vital component of their run to the Portuguese title last season.
What he said
“It’s not like I go out on a football field and am afraid. It’s about playing your game and daring to get stuck in. I know which qualities I possess and I dare to exert myself. I have great confidence and know what I am capable of on a football field.”
What they said
Zlatan Ibrahimovic [in November]: “I think Victor is doing great things, he is playing good for Benfica, he gets a lot of responsibility for the national team now, he is growing.
“Is he good enough for United? I think he’s good enough for the big clubs out there. It’s up to him what he wants. Whatever he chooses will be good for him. I know he is hot on the market so let him make the right choice, what fits him good.”
Former Sweden manager Lars Lagerback: “I think Lindelof can become a world-class player. I like his attitude, he is fast and effective player with good understanding of the game. Sweden have a great prospect for the future in him.”