Ten Hag’s update on Lindelof

Friday 26 August 2022 22:30

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has provided an update on defender Victor Lindelof ahead of Saturday's Premier League game against Southampton.

The defender has missed our opening three matches of the campaign through injury but is edging towards a return to action, according to Ten Hag.

The boss spoke about the Sweden captain during the second part of his pre-match press conference on Friday afternoon, as you can see below.

Part two: Ten Hag's Southampton press conference Video

Part two: Ten Hag's Southampton press conference

Press conference | Part two of the pre-match huddle focuses heavily on Caemiro, Varane and Rashford...

“Victor Lindelof did really well in pre-season so I am happy he will be back on Sunday in the squad, so we will have another option,” Erik told reporters.

“Internally, we have competition and that’s good and I think top teams need that.”

Erik's words suggest that our no.2 won't quite make it for Saturday's trip to the south coast but could be in contention to return during our next outing, at Leicester City on Thursday.

That would of course increase active competition for United’s centre-back spots, which Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez occupied in the win over Liverpool on Monday. 

Captain Harry Maguire had started alongside summer signing Martinez in the prior two fixtures before Varane came in for his first 90 minutes of the campaign. 

Ten Hag was asked about that switch for Monday’s game before discussing the choices available to him in that position and the early results of a steady pre-season plan for Raphael.

“First, we have options and as you already said, Varane, his stature is immense," he began.

“In pre-season, we had to build his physicality, so it was a bit of a slower start, and he was fit in the first games but in the first period of the pre-season, he wasn’t always, so we’re happy we built him in that way. 

“You see that when the team needed him, he was really there and his profile, his stature, what he won in the past, shows he can really contribute to this team. 

“For the team, there is competition, and you need it, we have to cover so many games and we can do that in several constructions, [and] see from game to game what we need. 

“That can be a construction from Liverpool, but also in the second half at Brentford, we played with Varane and Maguire in the centre, so there are many options.”