Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Victor Lindelof’s strength of character and technical quality sets him up to be an influential figure in Manchester United’s future.
Sweden international Lindelof agreed a new five-year contract on Wednesday, pledging his future to United until 2024 with an option to extend for a further 12 months.
The defender had been linked with Barcelona during the close-season transfer window but insisted he was “very happy” in Manchester, where he has become a regular starter.
At 25, Lindelof has been earmarked as a mainstay at centre-back alongside new signing Harry Maguire.
“Ever since I came in, I’ve been impressed by Victor, so now, to nail him down here, it’s important,” manager Solskjaer told his club’s website.
“He’s the modern centre-back – calm, composed and good on the ball. And, being a fellow Scandinavian, I know all about his mentality.
“You always get that mentality from Scandinavians, even though he’s a Swede!”
Lindelof was not an immediate hit at Old Trafford, with the manager who signed him from Benfica, Jose Mourinho, seemingly unconvinced and unwilling to trust him with a regular starting berth.
Solskjaer has been more forthcoming with faith and chances, naming him for each of the club’s opening five Premier League games of the 2019-20 campaign.
“The Premier League is a different animal to Europe,” the United boss said.
“It took time for Victor, as he would admit himself now, but he’s settling in. Last season, I thought he was excellent when I came here. His composure on the ball and leadership skills will be important.”
Lindelof could be rested when the Red Devils begin their Europa League campaign at home to Astana on Thursday.
In-form winger Daniel James will miss the match after suffering a knock against Leicester City last weekend and is not guaranteed to face West Ham at the London Stadium on Sunday.
Solskjaer said: “Dan is touch and go. He missed training [on Wednesday] and might be [out for] longer than expected, but hopefully [he’ll be back for] the weekend.”