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PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE

Why Man United fans shouldn’t write off Victor Lindelof just yet

Lindelof has made a horror start to his Manchester United career but Nemanja Vidic is proof that patience is important.

Patience is a rare commodity in modern football.

Frank De Boer was sacked by Crystal Palace after just five Premier League games in charge as the Eagles owners realised they had to act fast to salvage a season already destined for relegation.

And it’s a similar story for some new signings.


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Victor Lindelof’s £35m move from Benfica this summer was meant to solve Manchester United’s niggling defensive issues.

Lindelof and United lost 2-1 at Huddersfield on Saturday

Reuters
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Lindelof and United lost 2-1 at Huddersfield on Saturday

But the Swede has suffered a nightmare start to his Red Devils career, barely featuring under Jose Mourinho with both Phil Jones and Chris Smalling ahead of him in the pecking order.

And Saturday’s defeat to Huddersfield was Lindelof’s lowest point yet.

He replaced the injured Jones as a first half substitute and within 10 minutes Huddersfield had scored twice – the same amount United had conceded all season until that point.

Lindelof was unable to stop Tom Ince in the build up to Huddersfield’s first goal

Reuters
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Lindelof was unable to stop Tom Ince in the build up to Huddersfield’s first goal

The 23-year-old also inexplicably ducked under a long goal kick which allowed Laurent Depoitre to double the promoted side’s lead.

Lindelof, as a result, has already been written off by some United supporters who feel he doesn’t have the write minerals to cope in the Premier League.

But history suggests he deserves time to prove his worth.

Nemanja Vidic arrived from Spartak Moscow in 2006 with a similar air of uncertainty surrounding his ability.

The Serbian really struggled to adapt in his first six months at Old Trafford and later admitted he initially thought the move was a mistake.

Vidic had a tough start to life in England

EPA
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Vidic had a tough start to life in England

Vidic, in an interview with the Daily Telegraph back in 2014, said he regularly spoke to Patrice Evra about both their slow starts to life in England.

“Sometimes I like to remember how hard it was for us in the beginning. You remember what you have done here and now I am playing every week,” he said.

“For us [Vidic and Evra], the league was much quicker, the players were much stronger and in the first few weeks I found that really hard.

“I remember Patrice saying ‘can we succeed here? Maybe it is better for us to go back to the places we were at before.”

But Vidic was worth the wait.

This became a regular sight for Vidic and United fans

Reuters
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This became a regular sight for Vidic and United fans

The Serbian warrior would go on to establish one of the most formidable centre-back partnerships in Premier League history alongside Rio Ferdinand, winning five league titles and the Champions League.

Over 10 years on and Lindelof deserves the same kind of time and respect Vidic was offered.

The young Swede was regarded as one of the best talents in Europe during his time at Benfica and a number of the continent’s heavyweights wanted him before United swooped.

He’s played just 68 minutes of Premier League football to date, so to regard him as a flop already would be hugely trigger happy.

Lindelof deserves time to turn it around

Reuters
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Lindelof deserves time to turn it around

Lindelof’s start to life in England has been hampered not only by a lack of regular minutes but also an injury to Eric Bailly.

There’s no way of knowing whether things will improve for the Swede, but writing him off already would be hugely naive.


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