The Swedish international put pen to paper on a four-year deal, with the option of a further year, and will make his United debut on the summer tour of USA next month.
Speaking to the club’s official website, manager Jose Mourinho was delighted with the acquisition of the versatile defender:
“Victor is a very talented young player who has a great future ahead of him at United. Our season last year showed us that we need options and quality to add depth to the squad and Victor is the first to join us this summer. I know that our fantastic group of players will welcome him as one of us.”
Lindelof joined the youth set-up at Swedish club Västerås SK as a 13-year-old back in 2007 and progressed to make his senior debut in September 2010.
He made 40 appearances in total for the club, registering one assist, before securing a move to Benfica in December 2011.
Lindelof began at Benfica B, playing 15 matches in 2012/13, with nine of those outings coming at right-back.
The defender made his first-team debut in a 1-0 Portuguese Cup win over CD Cinfães in October 2013, but spent most of that campaign with the reserves. Utilised at centre-back and as a holding midfielder, he bagged two goals and as many assists in 33 appearances.
Despite making his league debut in a 2-1 defeat to Porto in May 2014, Lindelof would again spend the 2014/15 campaign with Benfica B, making 41 appearances, predominantly at centre-back, registering one goal and one assist.
He finally broke into the first-team squad during the second half of 2015/16, scoring once in 15 league appearances, and also made four starts in the knockout stages of the Champions League.
Last season, Lindelof was a regular starter for Benfica. He hit one goal in 32 league outings as they secured a fourth successive title, and featured a further eight times in the Champions League.
He has represented Sweden at all age groups from U16 to U21, making 29 appearances, and was part of the side that won the 2015 UEFA European U21 Championship where he was named in the team of the tournament.
Afforded his senior debut in a 2-1 defeat to Turkey in March 2016, the defender has currently made 12 appearances for his country, scoring one goal.
While the signing of Lindelof was definitely made with one eye on the future, it’s likely that he’s being lined up to be the first-choice partner for Eric Bailly in central defence next term.
Mourinho is now spoilt for choice in that area of the pitch, with Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Marcos Rojo and Daley Blind all viable options, while the versatile Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Axel Tuanzebe provide further alternatives.
Smalling has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford, though, and is expected to depart this summer.
Regardless, we look set to see a degree of rotation in United’s backline, particularly when the UEFA Champions League group stage gets underway following Gameweek 4.
Lindelof’s role and level of involvement will be intriguing.
Likened to former United defender Rio Ferdinand in style, the Swede is comfortable with the ball at his feet and possesses an impressive range of passing.
It will be interesting to see how Mourinho uses those qualities. If Lindelof can fulfil a role of ball carrier, he could free up both Paul Pogba and Ander Herrera to curb their propensity to drop deep to engineer attacks.
Lindelof also boasts a reasonable turn of pace and has good mobility, explaining why he has also featured at right-back on the international stage.
The Swede is described as being very “German” by Portuguese journalist Goncalo Lopes, with the defender also nicknamed the “Iceman” because of his style of play – tough with a strong mentality, keeping high concentration levels and thriving in aerial duels.
Lindelof has admitted he feels most comfortable at centre-back, with his footballing intelligence and ability to bring the ball out of defence dovetailing well with the physicality and tough tackling of Bailly.
He also spoke of his free-kick taking ability, having scored with a stunning strike against Sporting Lisbon last season:
“I’m quite good at them. If I get an opportunity to take a free-kick, I think I’ll be there!”
He could rival the likes of Pogba, Juan Mata and Marcus Rashford for dead-ball duties, although he did only manage one shot from outside the box last term, which suggests he may have to work his way up the pecking order.
The 22-year-old is also a decent tackler, although he likes to stay on his feet, explaining why he rarely concedes fouls, as illustrated by the fact he picked up just one yellow card in the Primeira Liga last term. That could bode well for his prospects in the Fantasy Premier League Bonus Points System (BPS).
However, despite standing at six foot two inches tall, it’s fair to say that Lindelof’s threat from set-pieces is somewhat underwhelming.
He only scored two goals in 73 appearances in all competitions for Benfica, and last season managed just a shot every 240 minutes.
That trails the likes of Rojo (118.6) and Smalling (173.6), although it was better than both Bailly (343.3) and Jones (528.3).
Meanwhile, his frequency of successful tackles (160 minutes) is significantly inferior to the likes of Bailly (47 minutes), Jones (66 minutes) and Rojo (75 minutes).
Lindelof also lagged behind in terms of minutes per clearance, block and interceptions (CBI), managing one every 16.9 minutes, with Jones (8.7), Rojo (8.8) and Bailly (10) all superior.
This did improve to a CBI every 12.86 minutes in the Champions League, perhaps indicating his numbers could be stronger on the Premier League stage.
His tackle statistics didn’t significantly improve, though, as he made a successful challenge every 144 minutes in European competition.
Those defensive statistics suggest he could struggle to match some of his defensive colleagues in the BPS, although Lindelof may be a cheaper option to help compensate.
Predicting the pricing applied to the United defence is tricky, given the injuries and rotation at play last term. But with Bailly and Antonio Valencia perhaps the most secure options, Lindelof could sit around 5.5 – at least 0.5 cheaper than that pairing.
That could bring him into play as a viable Fantasy asset, providing he immediately establishes himself as the first-choice partner for Bailly.
United’s obliging opening schedule will certainly see many Fantasy managers turn to Jose Mourinho’s side when formulating their initial squads.
They avoid all of last season’s top six over the opening six Gameweeks (WHM, swa, LEI, sto, EVE, sot), and having tied Tottenham Hotspur for the most clean sheets (17) in 2016/17, it’s at the back where we can really feel a degree of confidence.
Given a seal of approval by compatriot Zlatan Ibrahimovic, there’s little doubt United have bought a very talented player.
But from a Fantasy perspective, it is likely that Bailly and Valencia will offer the strongest and preferred routes into the United backline, meaning Lindelof may have to rely on a more favourable price tag to emerge as a viable alternative.