That Victor Lindelof has been struggling for fitness in recent months is no surprise.
It’s been covered repeatedly in the Swedish sports media, and has been a talking point in the past two international breaks.
Manchester United players had hardly any break at the end of last season, given they were involved in the latter stages of the Europa League. Lindelof has been playing with a back injury and it’s not thought he’s getting sufficient time to recover from it.
On November 17th he played for Sweden against France whilst carrying the injury and it was reported he continued for as long as possible, asking to come off after an hour as the pain became too much.
He then played the full match against West Brom on November 21st, and with Manchester United having a packed calendar it’s likely his heavy schedule will continue.
Sweden manager Janne Andersson is annoyed there were three national matches during the last break, believing two is enough. He calls the situation “total insanity”, reports Fotbollskanalen, and there’s ‘worry’ over the defender’s fitness.
Andersson is quoted as saying: “He basically plays Sunday, Wednesday, Saturday, Tuesday and so on, for as long as he wants. And he had hardly any leave at all between the seasons now.
“That not more players have injuries… I am surprised. I am also surprised that there has not been more discussion and reasoning about it from a sporting and medical perspective. This is extremely tough for the players. And it’s not like they play against bad teams. These are very tough matches all the time.
“I really hope Victor can get his back in order. Injured players… it’s not fun. If he gets the chance to fully recover, we will see in the future.”
Given the situation, it probably wasn’t the best idea for Andersson to field Lindelof in the match against France.