Manchester United Keen On Bringing “New Schmeichel” to Old Trafford: Who is Anders Lindegaard?

COS contributor Jake Harrison takes a closer look at an Old Trafford target.

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Danish goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard has been linked with Manchester United recently, along with two ‘unnamed’ Premier League clubs, with Sir Alex Ferguson looking for a replacement for Edwin Van der Sar, who will be forty in October.

Lindegaard started his career with Danish Superliga team Odense BK, where he rose up through the ranks before making eleven appearances for his hometown club. In 2008, however, the ‘keeper was shipped out on loan to First Division side Kolding, where he made nine appearances. His next move, though, would really shape his career.

At the age of twenty-five Lindegaard moved to Norway where he joined Aalesund FK, at first only on loan. There he made eighteen appearances in his first season, prompting the club to sign him on a permanent basis at the end of the 2009 season. Ferguson, though, has set his sights on bringing the player that has been dubbed the ‘new Schmeichel’ to Old Trafford.

As reported in the Daily Mail yesterday, however, it looks as if Fergie could face some stiff competition for the 26-year-old. Lindegaard is yet to feature for the Danish national team but is widely believed that, if he played for a side in a more well-respected league, he would definitely be in with a shout, with current Danish number one Thomas Sorensen turning thirty-five recently.

Lindegaard’s distribution with the ball is said to have caught Ferguson’s eyes most of all. In a long line of goalkeeping talent that has included Peter Schmeichel, Fabian Barthez, Van der Sar and the recently departed Ben Foster, the common theme of quick distribution and looking to attack from the back is very apparent.

Lindegaard played against Motherwell in a Europa League, third round recently, putting in a sound performance as his side held the Scottish club to a 1-1 draw. The ‘keeper was needed on various occasions to thwart the ‘Well and was considered by many to be the best player in that game.

A source close to Aalesund FK said at the end of July that “Man United are looking for a goalie and they have repeatedly had their scouts and goalkeeper coach in Norway to see Anders perform. They have also received a DVD of his matches and the next step is that the manager will look into it.”

Although Lindegaard did not make Denmark’s 2010 World Cup squad the ‘keeper, who stands at six-feet-four-inches tall, has received praise from Aalesund director Henrik Hoff:

“Anders Lindegaard is in my eyes the best keeper in the Tippeliga (Norwegian equivalent to the Premier League) and if he should be sold, a big sum will be required.”

Manchester United are also thought to have been tracking Germany’s Manuel Neuer and Russian ‘keeper Igor Akinfeev, although it is thought that the sum required for these two players would be a lot more than that of Lindegaard. The current goalkeeping situation at United is relatively stable with Tomasz Kuszczak now number two, behind Van der Sar, with youngster Ben Amos being promoted to number three. The £6 million departure of Foster to Birmingham, though, has obviously jilted Sir Alex into looking for a replacement for Van der Sar.

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