Gary Neville stated on Sky Sports during Monday Night Football that Victor Lindelof’s ‘problem’ at Manchester United is Harry Maguire and vice-versa, with question marks reignited over the pair.
Some United fans called for Lindelof to ‘get out’ of the club after the Swede was physically dominated by Mbaye Diagne on Sunday afternoon, allowing West Brom to score early on in the 1-1 draw.
Sections of the Red Devils faithful believed the goal should’ve been disallowed for foul play from Diagne, but the truth is that United and Lindelof left themselves to be punished by the Senegalese target-man.
Neville aired on Sky that he believes Lindelof is a ‘fantastic player’, a centre-back that ‘understands’ and ‘reads the game’, adding that the Swede would flourish as a partner to Virgil van Dijk at Liverpool.
The Red Devils recruited Lindelof for a fee of £31m from Benfica in the summer of 2017, per BBC Sport, but the slender centre-back has been left to look unconvincing in far too many big moments.
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“Lindelof’s problem is Maguire and Maguire’s problem is Lindelof.”
“I think if you put Lindelof alongside Van Dijk at Liverpool and he was his partner… he’s a fantastic player.”
“I think he’s a really good player by the way. He understands the game, he reads the game, I think he’s a good defender. If he was alongside a Rio Ferdinand or a Van Dijk, I think they’d make a great pair.”
“The problem is he’s alongside somebody who isn’t the most mobile in Harry Maguire. That’s the problem that Lindelof’s got, they’ve invested £80m in Harry Maguire so they’re going to need to put someone alongside him.”
“I actually think Lindelof is a really good player and if Liverpool were looking for a centre-back pairing, I think he’d do a really good job at Liverpool alongside Virgil van Dijk or a Ferdinand.”
“The problem is I don’t think he does a great job alongside Maguire, because they both just drop back a little bit and you need someone to get up the pitch.”
“They’ve got to be more front-foot, more aggressive, step past the striker, they’ve got to have the nerve to make their stomach churn a little bit.”
“There’s a bit too much space in behind them than they’d ordinarily think there would be, and that’s what the best teams have.”
Neville added that mobile centre-backs like Van Dijk or retired great Rio Ferdinand would make for partners that Lindelof would look amazing next to, but so would almost anyone next to talent like that.
The United legend added that Maguire and Lindelof simply aren’t ‘aggressive’ enough, the pair don’t pressure attackers up the pitch, the former isn’t really in a position to due to his lack of pace.
Whilst Neville’s comments on Lindelof are interesting and defend the star who has become a constant target of criticism, a transfer to Liverpool from their heated rivals would be very unlikely.