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Solskjaer’s Victor Lindelof stance to be put to the test after Man Utd blow

The Manchester United boss has praised the Swedish central defender a number of times, but Lindelof faces quite the test coming into the side without Harry Maguire or Raphael Varane next to him

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Manchester United defender Victor Lindelof has been forced to spend much of this season on the bench, but is now set to be thrust back into the thick of the action – starting with Saturday afternoon’s trip to Leicester City.

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is dealing with a defensive crisis as both of his two starting centre-backs are sidelined with injury ahead of a particularly dauting set of fixtures.

Club captain Harry Maguire limped out of the home defeat to Aston Villa at the tail-end of last month with a calf strain and has not featured since.

Meanwhile, summer signing Raphael Varane is also out of action after he sustained a groin issue while on international duty with France.



Raphael Varane failed to last the first half of the UEFA Nations League final after straining his groin
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Image:

REUTERS)




Varane was unable to come away from the recent UEFA Nations League final clash against Spain unscathed and leaves United down to the bare bones at the back.

While he may not boast the technical prowess of Varane or Maguire, Lindelof is experienced enough to do a job for the next few weeks, having been Maguire’s central defensive partner prior to Varane’s arrival in August.

The Sweden international also crucially has the backing and faith of his manager, who was quick to heap praise on him at the beginning of the campaign.









Following the rampant opening day 5-1 victory over Leeds, Solskjaer highlighted Lindelof in his assessment of the clash to BT Sport.

“I’ve got two very good centre backs here today,” referring to both Lindelof and Maguire.

After fellow former United star Rio Ferdinand agreed, Solskjaer claimed: “Victor has had so much criticism but for us he’s so important.”

Many players would have been against the idea of having to tussle with a former Real Madrid stalwart for the same place, but Lindelof has been open about the fight for first-team minutes.

Discussing Varane’s arrival with FotbollDirekt, Lindelof said: “It’s great, I play in one of the world’s biggest clubs and they have very good players.

“We will have a competitive situation and I only see it as positive that we have got a good player in the squad.”

HAVE YOUR SAY! Is Lindelof good enough for Man Utd? Comment below.



Victor Lindelof has been forced to play a bit-part role in the wake of Raphael Varane’s arrival (Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)




As well as dealing with a £40m signing coming in and taking the bulk of his first-team minutes, Lindelof has also had to content with a persistent back injury that blighted much of last season.

“I have played a lot the last two years and last year I had big problems with my back and played with pain.

“My back feels good now, there will probably be no problems, but I do not think I will play 50, 60 matches.”

Lindelof is right – he will not feature that much given those in front of him, but it is up to him to prove his manager right and stake his claim for more regular football, starting with the clash at the King Power on Saturday.


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