After starting the series of season ending player reviews with David de Gea, we are moving on to our number two – Victor Lindelof. This has been far from an easy campaign for the Swedish international, as the centre-back was part of United’s worst ever Premier League defensive campaign. United ended the season with 12 losses and just 16 wins, conceding 57 goals, as many as they have scored. With Lindelof playing a big chunk of that campaign, it was clear for everyone to see that he is far from an ideal option for this team. He can still be useful and there can still be good performances from him, but Lindelof from the 2021-22 season proved that Man United need to seriously strengthen the centre-back position.
Appearances across all competitions
Victor Lindelof made 35 apperances for Manchester United this season. He played in 28 out of 38 Premier League matches, making two unexpected assists in the process. He also added five Champions League appearances and one in each of the two domestic cups. He spent almost 3000 minutes on the pitch throughout this campaign, although United fans rarely enjoyed his performances.
Did he perform above or below the expectations?
This season was so clearly below average for Victor Lindelof. The Sweden international was often part of abysmal defensive performances. While those performances cannot be looked upon through the lens of an individual defender, it was obvious Lindelof was part of the problem, too. Coincidence or not, Man United never conceded more than one goal in the 10 appearances in the Premier League he was not part of. But with Lindelof in the team, there were the 2-4 against Leicester, 0-5 against Liverpool, 1-4 against Watford, 1-4 against Man City, 0-4 against Brighton…
Lindelof’s positioning was what often caught the attention and his statistics prove the point too. From all of the defensive metrics, only his number of clearances was somewhat decent. His tackling of 0.78 per 90 minutes was abysmal – while that can sometimes be part of the style of play, his lack of interceptions, blocks and aerial duels won as well, shows he was often far from where he was supposed to be.
Will he be a part of Manchester United during the 2022-23 season?
It depends on numerous factors. Man United’s ability to bring in multiple centre-backs will be crucial in this conversation, but right now, Lindelof will probably remain part of the squad. However, his role could change drastically. With Eric Bailly set to leave the club, and with Raphael Varane and Harry Maguire in front of him in the pecking order, Lindelof could become the fourth-choice centre-back if United decide to bring an interesting player. They are expected to do so, as Ten Hag clearly wants to improve United in that regard. But Lindelof’s season did not give him any credit and now he might be in for a season with much less playing time.