Former Manchester United defender Gary Pallister has noted that the arrival of Victor Lindelof has given Jose Mourinho a strong array of options to choose from next season.
The 22-year-old, following consecutive Primeira Liga wins with Benfica, arrived at Old Trafford for a £30.7m fee last week, signing a four year contract.
Reports have suggested that Chris Smalling, in turn, will be sold by Mourinho to make space for the Swede, with a variety of former clubs interested in the Englishman.
But Pallister, speaking to the club’s official website, expressed his enthusiasm at Mourinho’s current pool of defensive options.
“The great thing is, towards the end of the season, we got Chris Smalling fit and Phil Jones fit, so the manager had plenty of choices,” he said. “Considering the injuries we had, we were really good as a team at being able to defend.”
“Jose has always had his teams that know how to defend properly and it’s great that we’ve got that but we have also got the ability to score goals as well, although maybe not as many as we’d like at Old Trafford last season.
“That was due to ourselves not finishing as well as we should have done but also due to opposition goalkeepers coming in and pulling off some absolutely blinding saves. However, I think that is an area the team will look to address next season.”
Marcos Rojo and Eric Bailly enjoyed sensational campaigns last season and played a huge role in keeping United’s core tight when it very well could have collapsed.
Now, with the added pressure provided by Lindelof, who will want an instant first team place, alongside Phil Jones and Daley Blind offering contrasting – but both effective – approaches at the back, there is a real spine to this United back line.
The only question remaining is whether Mourinho deems Smalling of being worthy to feature as well next season.