Lindelof discusses best position and style

Wednesday 14 June 2017 19:09

Manchester United fans are obviously eager to discover more about our first summer signing Victor Lindelof so MUTV asked the man himself to describe his playing style in his first interview at the Aon Training Complex.

The 22-year-old defender, bought from Benfica, has obtained the nickname 'The Iceman' for his cool persona on the field, as he explains in the Q&A, a transcript of which you can read below. 

The Swede also talks about where he expects to fit in at United, having played right-back and defensive midfield in the past but really made his mark at centre-back for club and country.

Welcome to Manchester United. How do you feel now it’s been made official?
Thank you. It feels great. I’m very, very happy to be here at this great club so I couldn’t be happier.

You were linked for quite a while, so how pleased are you that Jose Mourinho was clearly so determined to get you?
Well, of course it feels great to know the coach wants you to finally be here. It makes me very happy.

Have you spoken to him yet?
Yeah, I’ve spoken to him. It was a good chat. It’s very important for me to hear what he has to say.

Jose has a history of getting the best out of the defenders he works with – was that a factor in coming here?
Yes, he’s a great coach and for me to be able to work with him is a great opportunity for me.

Was it a wrench to leave Benfica after enjoying great success there?
I’d been at Benfica for nearly five years, so for me to leave was of course not a tough decision but a hard decision. I was happy there as I developed a lot as a player but when the opportunity came, it was very easy for me to pick it.

Have you spoken to Zlatan Ibrahimovic about life in Manchester?
No, actually I haven’t. I haven’t spoken to him.

He’s doing his rehab here so it’s good you’ll be able to catch up with him…
Yeah, I think so. It’s going to be nice to have him around to speak to him a little bit about the club and everything around it. It’s going to be good.

What sort of defender are you?
I think I’m quite a calm player. I like to have the ball at my feet. I think I’m quite good with the ball and at reading the game, and I give my players in front of me quite a calmness knowing I’m back there trying to protect them as well as I can.

You’ve been described as versatile – you’ve played right-back. Can you play defensive midfield or do you see yourself as only a centre-back?
My position is a centre-back but, like you said, I was playing right-back before and started my footballing career as a midfielder. But I see myself as a central defender. I feel most comfortable there.

Do you model your game on any other centre-backs?
There are a lot of good centre-backs and I don’t want to pick just one. I look at a lot of centre-backs, how they play the game and try to learn from the best.

There is competition for your place from Bailly, Rojo, Smalling, Jones and Blind – do you expect to fight for your spot?
Of course there are some great players here in my position. I’m here to do my best to try to help the team as much as I can and it’s always good to have other good players around you. When you have that, you get better as well.

The Premier League is the biggest league in the world. Was it always your ambition to play here?
Yeah, I always had a dream of coming here to play in the Premier League so, for me, it’s a dream come true.

How big a challenge is it coming to a different league?
I think every move means you have to adapt to a new environment but I feel comfortable in myself. I trust myself and it’s going to be tough but I’m looking forward to it. 

You’ve won a lot of silverware at Benfica. What are your aims here – more of the same?
United are one of the biggest clubs in the world and always want to win titles. That’s also my goal. I want to come here and win titles. That’s the goal of the club and all the players as well.

You have experience of the Champions League. How valuable is that?
It’s been great for me to be playing at that level and playing against some really good teams. For me to be able to play in the Champions League has been very good.  I think I have learned a lot from those games.

How will it feel to be running out of the tunnel at Old Trafford for the first time?
I can only imagine. It’s going to be a great feeling. I’ve been watching Old Trafford games on TV but have never been to the stadium, so I think it’s going to be a great feeling walking out there.

What was your view of United? They’re very popular in Sweden…
A very big club. Like you say, in Sweden, they have a lot of supporters and it has always been when you speak about the biggest clubs in the world, you always speak about United. It just feels like a great club and a great organisation.

How important is it to go on tour and settle in there?
Well, I think it’s very important for me to get the whole pre-season to get to know the system there, all my team-mates and everything. It’s going to be very important.

You take free-kicks – are you going to be laying down a marker to be United’s free-kick taker?
I’m not sure. Yeah, I’m quite good at them. If I get an opportunity to take a free-kick, I think I’ll be there!

How has the move been received in Sweden? Will it change your life here?
I think so. I think for everyone who is joining this club, it changes them. But I’m not sure how much really. Like you said before, we have a lot of fans in Sweden who support Manchester so we’ll see. I’m not sure how but it’s going to be good. 

United fans have followed you since the move came about. Do you have a message for them?
I just want to say to them how happy I am to be here. I’ll do my best to represent this club so I’m very happy to be here. I hope they will enjoy it.