Victor Lindelof’s resurgence at Man United: Is the timing a coincidence? – Man United News And Transfer News – Fitnessnacks & Sports


Erik ten Hag has said on more than one occasion this season “I am not Harry Potter”, a modest response to claims that the impact he has had on certain players in his first season as Manchester United manager has been miraculous.

Whilst the manager has perhaps still not been able to transform the form and fortunes of the likes of Jadon Sancho, Fred, Scott McTominay, Anthony Martial and Harry Maguire, others have flourished under his tutelage, notably Marcus Rashford.

Two of those improvers – Victor Lindelof and Luke Shaw – have been nominated for the club’s player of the month award for April.

Lindelof last won the award four and a half years ago in November 2018 and Shaw, over two years ago in March 2021.

They join two other defenders, Diogo Dalot and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, in enjoying a season of hugely improved form that has earned Ten Hag that Harry Potter reputation.

Keen-eyed observers may note that with the exception of Rashford, all the players that Ten Hag has been credited with transforming are all defenders.

This begs the question: what is the secret to all four defenders having metamorphosed from zero to hero in the same season?

It is not our way at the Peoples Person to scapegoat and bash United stars, but sometimes it is important to talk about the elephant in the room, and we have to consider that Harry Maguire’s absence from the side for the majority of the season may be the factor that has led to the other defenders’ improvement.

As we have mentioned before, it is not necessarily that Maguire is a bad defender. His performances for England have proved that time and again. But his ability to organize his defence and captain his team must, once and for all, be condemned as failures at United.

It is said that form is temporary, but class is permanent. But in waiting five years for Lindelof to show his class again, it was reasonable for most fans to assume that it had gone beyond an issue of form.

We had forgotten the Lindelof that signed from Benfica, the Ice Man who looked like he would become a major component of United’s defence. We had seen how well Maguire plays for England, but we hadn’t stopped to notice how well Lindelof plays for Sweden, too.

Maguire joined United just a few months after Lindelof won that 2018 award. It is hard to dismiss as coincidence his long dip in form coinciding with his partnership with Maguire, especially if he wins the award again so shortly after breaking free of the so-called “Chuckle Brothers” double act.

It will be a wonderful boost for the loyal servant if he wins the award, announced on Saturday. And at 28 years of age, he can continue to build on that success and improve even further as he enters the peak years of his career.

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