Jose Mourinho has singled out Victor Lindelof for praise following his superb defensive display during Manchester United’s 4-2 win over Watford.
The Swede was handed a chance to feature in consecutive Premier League games at Vicarage Road after impressing against Brighton and Hove Albion last weekend.
And he once again confounded his critics with a wonderfully composed performance in a back three, making a series of important interceptions and tackles as Watford applied pressure late on.
Speaking after the game, Mourinho hailed Lindelof for the way he dealt with the lively Richarlison on Tuesday night.
“I think Richarlison is a very good player and a difficult player to play against,” he said.
“But Victor is very fast and he’s adapted to play centrally but also to go to the sides because he’s got the agility that many of the central defenders don’t have.
“I think it was another very positive performance by Victor.”
Mourinho wouldn’t spend £31m on a centre back he didn’t consider, with all his experience in this league, capable of thriving in the fastest league in the world, but for some time there was cause for concern.
Lindelof often looked unsure of his positioning and tentative on the ball during the early stages of the campaign – something you wouldn’t expect from a player who has feature as a full-back and even in central midfield in the past.
But the performance against Marco Silvas’s side was the clearest signal yet of Mourinho’s first signing of the summer growing into his role at the club. He looked to genuinely relish the challenge on Tuesday, and his quick rise to form coupled with Marcos Rojo‘s return gives his boss the option to use three at the back on a more regular basis.