After first lodging an interest in the defender back in December last year, Manchester United have finally reached an agreement to sign Benfica’s Victor Lindelof.
Jose Mourinho has been keeping tabs on the 22-year-old for a while but the transfer couldn’t be completed in January.
Lindelof is now set to become United’s first signing of the summer after United struck a deal with Benfica – a signing in the region of £30 million.
Here are six things you probably didn’t know about the club’s latest recruit.
ALREADY A WINNER
Despite only completing his second season with Benfica, the swede has already tasted plenty of success, winning six trophies in Portuguese football.
Lindelof has won three consecutive Portuguese league titles, although he only featured prominently in the last two. He also won two Taca de Portugal titles. a Portuguese League Cup and a Portuguese Super Cup.
The young defender also shone at the U21 European championship in 2015 when Sweden lifted the trophy and he was named in the team of the tournament. Lindelof also impressed in the Champions League, and made the cut for the Breakthrough XI in 2016.
BALL PLAYING CENTRE BACK
Standing at 6ft 2in, Lindelof has a great physical presence but he doesn’t wholly rely on it, nor should he. While he isn’t blessed with great speed, he does have a decent turn of pace. More importantly though, he’s also a good passer.
This season, Lindelof is third in terms of the most passes per game in the Portuguese league (62.2). Only midfielders Pizzi and William Carvalho are ahead of him. He also boasts one of the best pass success rates in the league (89.9%).
That should bode well for him at a club like United where Mourinho is desperate for a disciplined and solid centre back but also where the ability to pass the ball out from the back is a prerequisite for a successful defender at Old Trafford.
JUST CALL ME ICEMAN
Along with several other sportsmen including Formula One driver Kimi Raikkonen and Dennis Bergkamp, Lindelof has been nicknamed “The Iceman”.
The Benfica fans bestowed him with that name owing to his composure on the ball and efficient defending as well as his confident demeanour and powerful approach.
If his passing wasn’t enough to indicate his level of technical ability, the fact that he’s capable of striking a delicious free-kick should. The Swede isn’t renowned for striking a dead ball but when he stepped up to hit one in the derby against Sporting back in April, he raised a few eyebrows.
With his side 1-0 down, he pulled the level with a sumptuous free-kick from distance. He may not be the first choice for direct free-kicks when he pulls on a United shirt but a worthwhile option to have on the pitch nonetheless.
Lindelof signed for Benfica from Vasteras SK as a 17-year-old but was only given his opportunity in the first team three years later. His agent claimed in January 2015 that the defender was growing frustrated being confined to the B-team and hinted a move away may be on the cards.
Middlesbrough showed an interest and a loan deal was in the works but a couple of injuries to the first team defenders meant that Lindelof had to be drafted in and the move fell through.