It’s time to analyze what happened during the 2018-19 season for Manchester United. And for that, we will go checking each players individually to rate their performances, give a brief summary of what happened over the course of the campaign, and assess the role of the player in the upcoming campaign — if he stays with the club:
Let’s continue with Victor Lindelöf. The Sweden international improved substantially in comparison to what he did during his first year at Old Trafford, and right now he’s emerging as a potential long-term core piece on the squad. Especially considering he’s only 24 years old.
Appearances across all competitions
The Swede was a constant presence at the back for The Red Devils during the past season. It didn’t matter whether Jose Mourinho or Ole Gunnar Solskjaer were on the bench; the former Benfica star was steady and composed on defence, and ended becoming the club’s first-choice centre-back ahead of more experienced alternatives such as Chris Smalling or Phil Jones.
The former Benfica standout registered 40 appearances for Manchester United across all competitions, and 39 of those were starts. He played the full 90 minutes in 37 of those outings, showing he had full trust of the coaching staff. He registered 3,502 minutes overall, scoring only one goal. But his main role was to prevent opponents from scoring them, so any attacking output he could have delivered would’ve been only a bonus.
Did he perform above or below the expectations?
It’s hard to talk about expectations when mentioning a player like Lindelöf. He was expected to improve over what he did in his debut season, but he wasn’t expected to take such a giant leap forward. The 24-year-old centre-back improved as the season went on, and finished playing at a very high level. It’s clear Solskjaer played a role on his development, since he gave him enough confidence to become the leader of the defensive unit.
With that in mind — yes, Lindelöf played above the pre-season expectations. Now it remains to be seen whether he can sustain that kind of form heading into the 2019-20 campaign.
Will he be a part of Manchester United during the 2019-20 season?
If you ask Manchester United officials, they would say they really want Lindelöf to remain with the squad this next season. However, you never know what might happen when it comes to the transfer activity. And right now, Lindelöf has been linked with a potential move to FC Barcelona.
Indeed, the Swede has been mentioned as a “backup plan” in case Barca can’t sign Matthijs de Ligt. But United would probably command a hefty transfer fee to let him go. They’re not looking to part ways with (probably) their lone core defensive piece on the squad.
Let the rumours fly and the speculation begin. Lindelöf is not going anywhere.