October 23, 2021

Man Utd defender Lindelof leaves Sweden squad due to ‘personal reasons’

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The experienced centre-back will not feature for his country when they take on Estonia in a midweek friendly

Manchester United defender Victor Lindelof has left the Sweden squad due to “personal reasons”.

Lindelof played the full 90 minutes in both of Sweden’s 2020 World Cup qualifying wins against Georgia and Kosovo over the past week, helping his country record two clean sheets in the process.

However, the 26-year-old be unavailable for selection in a friendly against Estonia on Wednesday, with assistant manager Peter Wettergren confirming the news at a pre-match press conference.

What’s been said?

“[Lindelof] will leave us tonight for private, personal reasons,” Wettergren told reporters on Monday.

Lindelof’s injury-plagued 2020-21 campaign

Lindelof has played a key role in Ole Gunnar Solskaer’s United squad once again this season, but has had to miss a number of games due to a chronic back injury.

Solskjaer has been forced to manage the Swede’s minutes carefully, and the centre-back opened up on the steps he has had to take to avoid exacerbating the issue earlier this month.

“I’ve been struggling a bit with my back. I’ve been having it for the last couple of months,” said Lindelof. “I missed a few games as well and I am just trying to manage it in a good way. 

“I played one game and then I got to rest again, it felt a bit better. It started to come back a little bit but I’m just trying to manage it in a good way, do the recovery right and then treatment.”

How has Lindelof performed for United this term?

Lindelof has already racked up 34 appearances across all competitions for the Red Devils, including 22 outings in the Premier League.

The towering defender has continued to impress at alongside Harry Maguire at the back, helping Solskjaer’s side rise to second in the top-flight and reach the Europa League quarter-finals.

However, Lindelof and Maguire both came in for criticism after United’s final fixture before the international break, which saw Leicester City dump them out of the FA Cup with a 3-1 win at the King Power Stadium.

Will Lindelof be available when the Premier League resumes?

United have yet to confirm the reason for Lindelof’s early return to Old Trafford from international duty, but if the problem is fitness related, he could miss the club’s next Premier League outing.

The Red Devils will play host to Brighton on Sunday, which is a game they must win to stave off the likes of Leicester and Chelsea, who are also eyeing the second spot in the table.

Solskjaer’s men are due to take in a trip to Granada for the first leg of their last eight Europa League tie four days later, with the fixture list set to pile up heading into the business end of the campaign.

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