Victor Lindelof has withdrawn from the Sweden squad ahead of their games against Slovakia, Norway and Serbia. The 27-year-old, who was named Sweden’s captain last year, has been forced to watch from the sidelines due to a reoccurring injury.
Speaking ahead of his squad gathering for the first time, manager Janne Andersson confirmed the news, insisting that the injury needs time to heal.
“He’s had reoccurring injury issues that need healing,” Andersson is quoted as saying by Aftonbladet. “Victor is out captain and has been a really important player during my six years (in charge). He’s never disappointed me so it’s a big blow but it is what it is.
“It was so problematic that we didn’t see a chance for it to get better. Then it’s better for him to rest. He’s had problems for a long time so I definitely saw this coming. I went to visit him a month or so ago and we spoke about it then. We’ve talked almost every day and realised it’s not going to work.”
Lindelof has withdrawn from international duty in the past due to a longstanding back problem, with preparations for last summer’s European Championship also disrupted due to the issue.
Erik ten Hag, the new manager at United, will likely have been briefed about the issue but with international duty scrapped for Lindelof, he’ll hope to have him ready when pre-season starts at the end of next month.
Lindelof is one of the few centre-backs at United with a relatively clear future. Eric Bailly and Phil Jones are both expected to leave and there are question marks over Harry Maguire’s future as captain.
Off the pitch, Lindelof has teamed up with Bruno Fernandes to support UNICEF’s campaign to aid the victims of war in Ukraine.