After months of speculation linking Anders Lindegaard with a move to Manchester United, a deal has finally been agreed to bring the 26-year-old goalkeeper to Old Trafford in January. Lindegaard was rumoured to have flown into Manchester on Thursday to undergo a medical and agree to terms today. The deal is reportedly worth £3.5 million. Lindegaard spoke of his excitement after putting pen to paper on a three-and-a-half year deal:
“Joining Manchester United is a dream come true for me. The club is such an institution in Denmark, it’s an honour to come here. I’m looking forward to playing and training alongside some of the great players in football today. I can’t wait to be part of this team and to make my contribution to keeping the team at the top of the game.”
The club has confirmed Lindegaard will train with the squad in December, but will not be able to be officially registered as a player until the transfer window opens in January. Sir Alex was full of praise United’s newest signing:
“Anders is one of the brightest young keepers in the game. The challenge at Manchester United is always to look to the future and in Anders, we have signed a goalkeeper of great presence and even more promise. Having the time to train with him before he is registered will be an important period for him – almost like a pre season to get him integrated with the other players.”
Lindegaard was an unknown until a few months ago when reports began surfacing that United goalkeeping coach Eric Steele had been scouting the Danish goalkeeper. He made his international debut on 7 September 2010 in a Euro 2012 qualifier against Iceland, and has gone on to make three more appearances since. Not bad for a player who was below former United keeper Roy Carroll in the pecking order at Odense BK last year.
A loan move to Norwegian club Aalesund offered Lindegaard the opportunity to get his career back on track, and after some promising performances he was rewarded with a permanent deal. After 56 appearances for Aalesund, Lindegaard now joins United as the club prepares for life without Edwin van der Sar.
While Lindegaard’s rapid rise from Odense BK backup to Denmark international and Manchester United player is certainly impressive, there are those who believe he is not yet ready for this step in his career. United great Peter Schmeichel has publicly stated his compatriot is not good enough for United. It’s definitely concerning to hear such criticism from arguably the best goalkeeper in the club’s history, but perhaps Lindegaard will prove him wrong and become the club’s next Great Dane. Only time will tell.
When he arrives in January, Lindegaard will assume the role of Van der Sar’s understudy. It may be disappointing for him to find himself on the bench again, but the experience he’ll gain from learning under Van der Sar may prove invaluable. After all, it’s not every day an up-and-coming goalkeeper gets to train with one of the greats.
There are plenty of uncertainties surrounding the goalkeeper situation at Old Trafford right now. It is still unknown whether Van der Sar will carry on past the season or if he’ll choose to hang up his gloves. It is also likely that Tomasz Kuszczak may depart to seek first team opportunities elsewhere. There are also rumours linking United with a move for Atletico Madrid goalkeeper David De Gea. With so many questions between the posts, one thing is certain – Anders Lindegaard will be part of the future at United.
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