Monday 19 March 2018

Ryan Giggs tells critics to lay off Victor Lindelof and give him time to prove himself at Manchester United

Manchester United's Victor Lindelof
Manchester United's Victor Lindelof

Jack de Menezes

Ryan Giggs has jumped to the defence of under-fire Manchester United defender Victor Lindelof following his suspect performance in the 2-1 defeat by Huddersfield Town last weekend, with the former Premier League star drawing on his teammates’ past experiences as proof that he should be given time to settle into his new home.

Lindelof joined United in the summer in a £31m transfer that made him one of the most expensive defenders in world football, but he has faced intense criticism in the wake of his appearance in Saturday’s loss at the John Smith’s Stadium.

The 23-year-old has not been a regular in United’s Premier League campaign this season, having made just one appearance before manager Jose Mourinho called on him to replace Phil Jones against Huddersfield after the England international suffered an injury in the 23rd minute.

Just five minutes after Lindelof was introduced, United fell behind to a goal from former Manchester City midfielder Aaron Mooy, and the Swede was at fault for the second when his missed interception allowed Laurent Depoitre to round David De Gea and double the lead.

His performance adds weight to the suggestion that Mourinho is not yet convinced by the former Benfica defender’s ability to perform at elite level, which is also demonstrated by making just five starts so far this season, but Giggs has stressed that he should be allowed time to develop at Old Trafford just like the likes of Patrice Evra and Nemanja Vidic did.

“One player who has attracted a lot of criticism is Victor Lindelof but he certainly shouldn't be written off yet,” Giggs wrote in his Sky Sports column.

“Some players come to the Premier League and bed in straight away and others can take six months or even a year, as it was for Patrice Evra, Jaap Stam and Nemanja Vidic, and they went on to be unbelievable players.

“You win together and lose together and you can't single out a player, especially when he hasn't been playing regularly. He's just got to knuckle down and come through this.”

Lindelof could be handed a sixth start of the season when United take on Swansea in the EFL Cup on Tuesday night, although after playing more than 67 minutes at the weekend, Mourinho could leave him among the replacements.

Giggs meanwhile has expressed his interest in managing both Everton and Leicester City, who are both without a manager after the respective sackings of Ronald Koeman and Craig Shakespeare over the course of the last week.

Independent News Service

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