Why Victor Lindelof wasn't in Manchester United's squad for West Ham
Manchester United recorded a very impressive win on Sunday afternoon.
In their opening Premier League game of the season, United brushed aside a meek West Ham United, putting four goals past Slaven Bilic's team. Romelu Lukaku scored twice and Nemanja Matic was the best player on the pitch for large spells.
But United's other summer signing played no part in the game. In fact, Victor Lindelof didn't even make the bench.
The Swedish defender joined the club from Benfica for £30m earlier this summer, and many felt he struggled a little in some pre-season fixtures.
Lindelof also played against Real Madrid earlier this week, in the Super Cup final in Macedonia, so his absence probably wasn't that surprising.
Mourinho explained the player's omission after the 4-0 win on Sunday, and his reasons were perfectly valid.
The United manager stressed that the 23-year-old defender needs time to adjust to the Premier League, like countless new players to England before him. It sounds like Mourinho will be patient with Lindelof as he adjusts to his new surroundings.
"I think Real Madrid was too early for him. He played because (Phil) Jones and (Eric) Bailly were both suspended," Mourinho told Manchester Evening News on Sunday.
"I have players coming from different leagues to the Premier League and normally it's not easy. The difference between Lukaku and Matic is exactly that, they have years and years of the Premier League.
"I brought in 2004 a phenomenal central defender to England in (Ricardo) Carvalho, he was one of the best central defenders in the last decade of the Premier League, but he struggled. It was difficult for him to come and adapt to the beginning, and I think Victor needs a little bit of time and he's going to have that time."
When you score two goals with your 'bad first touch'... pic.twitter.com/2mtlKgbPM4
— JOE (@JOE_co_uk) August 13, 2017
Mourinho also referenced Henrikh Mkhitaryan, speaking about his initial struggle to settle in English football when he joined from Borussia Dortmund last summer.
The Armenian is now a first-team regular, and the United manager expects Lindelof to settle and then excel for the team.
"Let's go step by step, because Victor is a fantastic player."