Let’s talk about Lindelof

nokillingmoths

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Thought this was worth a bump, Lindelof has looked excellent recently. He was one of the best on the pitch against Newcastle and is evolving into a top quality ball playing defender. Best of all he's only 24 so can only improve from here. I think he struggled with a constantly changing defence under Jose, though even then he looked good and much better than last season.

Just another reason for Utd fans to be cheerful.
Bit early to throw around words like top quality. Hes nowhere near van djik. BUT he is much improved and benefitting from a run in the team. Lets hope he keeps getting better. Spurs next.
 

Adisa

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Happy I stuck by him throughout last season. Feel vindicated. Brighton last season was really a baptism if fire, his Evra/City game. One of our few players who has constantly improved throughout his time here. Albeit, from a very low base.
 

DBT85

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It's not a great shock to see considering his form elsewhere.

Who would have thunk it. Put a ball palying CB in a team that plays ball and he can ... play ball.
 

GailSpaceWynand

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Bit early to throw around words like top quality. Hes nowhere near van djik. BUT he is much improved and benefitting from a run in the team. Lets hope he keeps getting better. Spurs next.
He said evolving into top quality which he is. Van Djik is 3 years older and plays a completely different game so as to speak - he is also one of the best and experienced in PL so comparing them is not fair, atleast not yet.
 

Rafeeq RSA

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Hope Lindelof kicks on and becomes our VVD. He might not be Great in the air but is passing abilities and reading of the game seems top notch. He is improving game after game and surely his development areas can be improved on , excited to see his rise.
 

EwanI Ted

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I’m yet to be convinced tbh. There’s a tendency towards hyperbole on this site and when people were calling him total rubbish/championship quality etc that was nonsense. Even during his poor start it was obvious he was mid table premier league quality at least. Now that he’s doing better I still think he looks mid table quality. He’d stand out playing at Leicester or Everton, but that’s not the same as being Man United quality.

I think his problem is a basic lack of athleticism. As we saw with Daley Blind, being a good reader of the game and a good passer can take you a long way, but not the whole way. He’s faster and stronger than Blind, but still not at the level we want.

If united are going to be playing with an emphasis on risk, pushing high and trusting the centre backs to handle counter attacks on their own, we need centre backs with more pace and more body strength than Lindelof has shown so far. He’s going to be expected to handle balls over the top to strikers and win those one on one battles through pace or strength. I haven’t seen anything from him yet that makes me think he has what it takes to do that against the best teams.

He also gets beaten at set pieces more than he should, but tbf that’s exacerbated by the whole team being poor at handling them, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt for now.

He’s the best we have at the moment imo so I’m happy to keep him even as we look for new CBs next summer, but long term he’ll have to improve significantly to have a future with us.
 

Zlaatan

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I've never thought that he was good enough for United and wanted him out of the club after that string of games last year where he looked like a headless chicken, but I must admit that he's improved quite a bit this season and think he could get yet another lift under Ole (and it seems like he has so far).
He is still quite young and will only get better, that's a given, but I stil have my doubts about if he will ever be world class or close to it, which is the standard we should be aiming for.
 

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Looks great on the right side of CB. Hopefully his progress continues.
 

John Blund

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Probably the player that has improved the most under Solskjaer. For me, he was a flop-signing by Mourinho. Under Solskjaer, he looks like he could be a top class CB who also contributes to our build-up play. Reminds me of Hummels, Javi Martines, and Mascherano - players who take the ball forward, and will continue their run all the way into oppositions box. In England, we've seen David Luiz in Chelsea do the same thing during his first spell.
 

Irish Jet

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He was playing well under Mourinho too. Brilliant in both Juve games. Just took a year to settle.
 

SirAF

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THE only thing I’m iffy about is his ability in the air, otherwise I’ve been very impressed so far. He should be fine next to someone really strong in the air (Smalling or preferably an upgrade).
 

OldPop

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THE only thing I’m iffy about is his ability in the air, otherwise I’ve been very impressed so far. He should be fine next to someone really strong in the air (Smalling or preferably an upgrade).
Agree on all points
 

12OunceEpilogue

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Yes, I'm happy with him. His aerial ability is a worry, and maybe his strength, but he's reading the game well and if he's paired with a stronger CB with aerial prowess his weaknesses should be covered nicely and his attributes can shine through.
 

Adam-Utd

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THE only thing I’m iffy about is his ability in the air, otherwise I’ve been very impressed so far. He should be fine next to someone really strong in the air (Smalling or preferably an upgrade).
Usually that's his weakpoint, but I was shocked how many headers and physical battles he won against Rondon recently.

Let's hope that's a sign of his improved aggression/strength, rather than a one off match.

Against Kane/Alli will be a sign of how far he's come.
 

roonster09

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Usually that's his weakpoint, but I was shocked how many headers and physical battles he won against Rondon recently.

Let's hope that's a sign of his improved aggression/strength, rather than a one off match.

Against Kane/Alli will be a sign of how far he's come.
Yeah, he was very impressive vs Rondon and was surprised to see him win physical battle. He was also very aggressive in last few games.

It will be completely different test vs Spurs though.
 

SirAF

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Usually that's his weakpoint, but I was shocked how many headers and physical battles he won against Rondon recently.

Let's hope that's a sign of his improved aggression/strength, rather than a one off match.

Against Kane/Alli will be a sign of how far he's come.
Yes, hopefully!
 

tieunhilang

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Usually that's his weakpoint, but I was shocked how many headers and physical battles he won against Rondon recently.

Let's hope that's a sign of his improved aggression/strength, rather than a one off match.

Against Kane/Alli will be a sign of how far he's come.
Your last sentence dreaded me. I remember we all said the same about Matteo Darmian when he was rock-solid at our right wing in the early days of 2015-2016 season. We said we couldn't wait to see how he would "man-handle" the likes of Hazard...etc. Then Sanchez appeared and Darmian was never the same after that.
 

Litch

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I've had to but my fire suit on on more than one occasion in defending him on here so Im pleased he is getting the recognition his performances deserve. Far from the finished article but I honestly think some of the criticism of him is based on a perception of what he looks like and not what he actually his. People talk about his strength or pace but I've yet to see him so any lack of it consistently. Now it's the PL so there will always be isolated incidents. The other is his heading ability, I think he's not the most dominant of headers but that's not to say he doesn't win his fair share. That said, in any CB pairing you never get players that are equally in their abilities and maybe if he played consistently with say Smalling that would be the natural compliment.
 

Buster15

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THE only thing I’m iffy about is his ability in the air, otherwise I’ve been very impressed so far. He should be fine next to someone really strong in the air (Smalling or preferably an upgrade).
Good point. While we can now begin to see why he was signed, his heading is quite weak and he doesn't get much power in his headers.

Nevertheless, on the floor, he is starting to look like a good player.
I did feel for him when he joined as he obviously was overawed by playing for United and by the PL.
Well done to him for getting through that experience.
 

Adam-Utd

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Your last sentence dreaded me. I remember we all said the same about Matteo Darmian when he was rock-solid at our right wing in the early days of 2015-2016 season. We said we couldn't wait to see how he would "man-handle" the likes of Hazard...etc. Then Sanchez appeared and Darmian was never the same after that.
Honestly, i'm more worried about Jones right now. I think he is playing like the "real" Lindelof now.
 

Nou_Camp99

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Not sure I'm watching the same games as some people on here. We are still looking very poor defensively and he has moments almost every game.

Has he Improved? Clearly. Has he now got to the level of a good Manchester United CB? Not even close for me. I think people are exaggerating his improvement somewhat. He's gone from a car crash to being okay. The fact some people are even muttering Rio, Vida in same sentence already is an insult to them great players.
 

Johan07

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I really hope we keep him playing at RCB and not switch him to LCB when Smalling comes back.
 

golden_blunder

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I’ve been perhaps his biggest critic on here.
I am happy to see that he is playing confidently in a team that plays out and he himself has played his part in that.
However, unless he somehow dramatically improves his heading I can’t see him being anything more than Daley Blind mk2. I think if we had better cbs to choose from he may become the utility man.

Seeing his ability to burst forward does make me curious how he’d do at DM though
 

golden_blunder

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Not sure I'm watching the same games as some people on here. We are still looking very poor defensively and he has moments almost every game.

Has he Improved? Clearly. Has he now got to the level of a good Manchester United CB? Not even close for me. I think people are exaggerating his improvement somewhat. He's gone from a car crash to being okay. The fact some people are even muttering Rio, Vida in same sentence already is an insult to them great players.
He’s not fit to tie their laces. Perhaps people forget how good they were or they’ve had their levels reset with jones etc
 

simplyared

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I’m yet to be convinced tbh. There’s a tendency towards hyperbole on this site and when people were calling him total rubbish/championship quality etc that was nonsense. Even during his poor start it was obvious he was mid table premier league quality at least. Now that he’s doing better I still think he looks mid table quality. He’d stand out playing at Leicester or Everton, but that’s not the same as being Man United quality.

I think his problem is a basic lack of athleticism. As we saw with Daley Blind, being a good reader of the game and a good passer can take you a long way, but not the whole way. He’s faster and stronger than Blind, but still not at the level we want.

If united are going to be playing with an emphasis on risk, pushing high and trusting the centre backs to handle counter attacks on their own, we need centre backs with more pace and more body strength than Lindelof has shown so far. He’s going to be expected to handle balls over the top to strikers and win those one on one battles through pace or strength. I haven’t seen anything from him yet that makes me think he has what it takes to do that against the best teams.

He also gets beaten at set pieces more than he should, but tbf that’s exacerbated by the whole team being poor at handling them, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt for now.

He’s the best we have at the moment imo so I’m happy to keep him even as we look for new CBs next summer, but long term he’ll have to improve significantly to have a future with us.
Sounds like you've done some coaching yourself with that assessment. Bang on!
 

RedDevil@84

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I’m yet to be convinced tbh. There’s a tendency towards hyperbole on this site and when people were calling him total rubbish/championship quality etc that was nonsense. Even during his poor start it was obvious he was mid table premier league quality at least. Now that he’s doing better I still think he looks mid table quality. He’d stand out playing at Leicester or Everton, but that’s not the same as being Man United quality.

I think his problem is a basic lack of athleticism. As we saw with Daley Blind, being a good reader of the game and a good passer can take you a long way, but not the whole way. He’s faster and stronger than Blind, but still not at the level we want.

If united are going to be playing with an emphasis on risk, pushing high and trusting the centre backs to handle counter attacks on their own, we need centre backs with more pace and more body strength than Lindelof has shown so far. He’s going to be expected to handle balls over the top to strikers and win those one on one battles through pace or strength. I haven’t seen anything from him yet that makes me think he has what it takes to do that against the best teams.

He also gets beaten at set pieces more than he should, but tbf that’s exacerbated by the whole team being poor at handling them, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt for now.

He’s the best we have at the moment imo so I’m happy to keep him even as we look for new CBs next summer, but long term he’ll have to improve significantly to have a future with us.
And how does he fare (currently) when compared with our other CBs?
 

Nick7

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He's been our best centre back the past while. Whether that's enough I don't know. We'll see at the end of the season. He's certainly a lot better this season than last. I was ready to give up on him last season.

I still have reservations about his ability in the air and his speed.
 

Morpheus 7

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Happy I stuck by him throughout last season. Feel vindicated. Brighton last season was really a baptism if fire, his Evra/City game. One of our few players who has constantly improved throughout his time here. Albeit, from a very low base.
I was at that game last year at Old Trafford, he was excellent. Again, very low opposition but the way he brought the ball out was impressive up close. You could see his confidence grow as he got encouragement from the crowd. Still think it was a case of adapting for Victor, he would have settled better if we had experienced leader at the back. He's definitely got flaws and issues with the speed of the league, overall though I think he's a good player. His ball distribution going forward is his key assest for me, it's an important area in the modern game.
 

The Irish Connection

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If you said to me after his first 5 games that he would eventually look better than Bailly I wouldn’t have believed it.
Fair play to him. He was looking for a 1 2 into the box recently as well which is fun to watch.
 

poleglass red

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Still not sure about this lad. He's had to adapt to a new league plus he's been paired with a collection of partners who are prone to brain farts at any time, so I do have sympathy for him. He reminds me a bit of Evans who was good on the ball but just lacked strength. Evans did well for us, very well in fact but he had Vidic beside him during that run we broke the clean sheets record. We don't have that luxury with Eric, I've no doubt he would have settled in much quicker with that leader type next to him. I wouldn't be in a rush to get rid of him, but he certainly needs that more physical leader type next to him
 
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If you said to me after his first 5 games that he would eventually look better than Bailly I wouldn’t have believed it.
Fair play to him. He was looking for a 1 2 into the box recently as well which is fun to watch.
It does have a lot to do with how overrated Bailly is, and how poor he's been over the last year in particular. However, Lindelof has got better, like others have said, he looks like Blind Mk2 in the making. Can't ever see him being a stand out CB, but a good squad option (when we improve our defence). Hopefully he can buck the trend and stay fit and actually be available unlike the rest of the CB posse.
 

M Utd

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Good point. While we can now begin to see why he was signed, his heading is quite weak and he doesn't get much power in his headers.

Nevertheless, on the floor, he is starting to look like a good player.
I did feel for him when he joined as he obviously was overawed by playing for United and by the PL.
Well done to him for getting through that experience.
He isn't the first and won't be the last defender to come to the EPL and struggle initially with the pace and physical aspects. Unfortunately in today's world some fans have 0 tolerance for players developing. I think he's done well recently and I'm glad those at the club are seeing the same.
 

Sandikan

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It does have a lot to do with how overrated Bailly is, and how poor he's been over the last year in particular. However, Lindelof has got better, like others have said, he looks like Blind Mk2 in the making. Can't ever see him being a stand out CB, but a good squad option (when we improve our defence). Hopefully he can buck the trend and stay fit and actually be available unlike the rest of the CB posse.
This sounds spot on to me.
He's gone from an incredible liability, so risky, that we had to basically play Fellaini a few cm ahead of him, to adequate.

It's still hard to see him as a mainstay defender in a good team, as he won't just become physically strong and dominant aerially just like that, however settled he is.
He might well be boosted by a top centre back put in next to him, but then this is Man United, you should be a real player in your own right.
 

Pogue Mahone

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It does have a lot to do with how overrated Bailly is, and how poor he's been over the last year in particular. However, Lindelof has got better, like others have said, he looks like Blind Mk2 in the making. Can't ever see him being a stand out CB, but a good squad option (when we improve our defence). Hopefully he can buck the trend and stay fit and actually be available unlike the rest of the CB posse.
He seems a lot quicker than Blind. Which was his achilles heel. A quick Daley Blind could actually be a hell of a good player.
 

M Utd

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He seems a lot quicker than Blind. Which was his achilles heel. A quick Daley Blind could actually be a hell of a good player.
I actually though Blind was pretty decent. His reading of the game was excellent. His pairing with Bailly was pretty successful too. If you watched the games they played together carefully Blind pretty much coaches Bailly through those games and probably made him look better than he was a the time.

The thing I like about Lindelof's recent performances has been his leadership and communication. Again that takes time to build. Not everyone can come in like Zlatan and tell everyone how it's going to be but I've been delighted to see him take the first steps to becoming a leader at the back.
 

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He’s been one of our best players this season. Quality.
 

Pogue Mahone

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I actually though Blind was pretty decent. His reading of the game was excellent. His pairing with Bailly was pretty successful too. If you watched the games they played together carefully Blind pretty much coaches Bailly through those games and probably made him look better than he was a the time.
I liked Blind too. But his lack of pace could be a real issue. I haven't been to many games in recent years but I was at Old Trafford when we beat Watford in February 2017. I was sitting right beside our left touchline and I remember the Watford winger (Niang?) kicking the ball past Blind a few times and leaving him dead. It was like watching someone run through treacle. To me, that was the only reason Daley couldn't be a top central defender. I just don't see Lindelof having the same issues. He's looked pretty rapid.
 

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He seems a lot quicker than Blind. Which was his achilles heel. A quick Daley Blind could actually be a hell of a good player.
He's quicker, but not by much, really. Lindelof is still not the fastest. A yard or two more pace and I would be very happy with him.
 

M Utd

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I liked Blind too. But his lack of pace could be a real issue. I haven't been to many games in recent years but I was at Old Trafford when we beat Watford in February 2017. I was sitting right beside our left touchline and I remember the Watford winger (Niang?) kicking the ball past Blind a few times and leaving him dead. It was like watching someone run through treacle. To me, that was the only reason Daley couldn't be a top central defender. I just don't see Lindelof having the same issues. He's looked pretty rapid.
I'm with you there. He did have that half a yard already in his head and his reading was so good but you are right he did lack the pace required for a top CB that wasn't massively physical. I'm like you and have high hope for Linderlof. Consistency is key at the back but he's been doing well recently.
 
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Pogue Mahone

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I'm with you there. He did have that half a year already in his head and his reading was so good but you are right he did lack the pace required for a top CB that wasn't massively physical. I'm like you and have high hope for Linderlof. Consistency is key at the back but he's been doing well recently.
Yeah, he was such a smart defender he rarely got exposed. People kept expecting him to get rinsed against strong or quick attackers but he usually bucked the odds and kept them in his pocket regardless. It was one of those fine margins that stopped him being up there with the very best, though.