Manchester United centre-back Victor Lindelof has confessed that he misses Jose Mourinho, whom he credits for giving him the chance to realise his dreams at Old Trafford.
Mourinho was sacked by United at the end of last year, after a turbulent two-and-a-half-year spell in Manchester during which he won three trophies and masterminded a second-place Premier League finish.
The 56-year-old has been linked with several high profile jobs since then, most recently at Arsenal, but is still searching for his next role while spending some time working for Sky Sports as a pundit.
Mourinho’s off-field antics overshadowed his achievements at Old Trafford and he made a few missteps in the transfer market, but bringing Lindelof to Manchester was one of his better decisions.
The Portuguese head coach signed the defender from Benfica for £31 million ($40m) in the summer of 2017 and he has since become a regular fixture in United’s starting line up.
Lindelof is eager to see Mourinho return to management at the highest level sooner rather than later, insisting his old mentor is still “one of the world’s best coaches”.
“He is, after all, one of the world’s best coaches and he is supposed to have a job at one of the biggest clubs. I miss him in football,” Lindelof told Aftonbladet.
“He’s a great coach and a great person, whom I owe a great deal. It was he who gave me the chance here, who brought me into everything.
“I have all the respect in the world for him and appreciate everything he has said and done for me, from scolding to a hug.
“Even if I did not agree, at the time…he has very great charisma, you had great respect for him. He’s won everything. When he says something, you listen.”
Lindelof has been a key member of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad at the start of 2019-20 campaign, forging a formidable partnership at the back with summer signing Harry Maguire.
The Sweden international has made 13 appearances across all competitions, helping the Red Devils advance to the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup and the Europa League knockout stages.
United have, however, endured their worst start to a Premier League season in 33 years, with nine points separating Solskjaer’s outfit and fourth-place Manchester City in the table after just 12 fixtures.
The Red Devils resume domestic duties after the international break with a tough trip to newly-promoted Sheffield United on the cards on November 24.
Solskjaer will then prepare his side for a final Europa League group stage fixture away at Astana four days later before Aston Villa arrive at Old Trafford the following weekend.