José Mourinho warns Bailly and Jones should be "worried" about Victor Lindelöf taking their starting spot

The Manchester United manager has stated the pair of Lindelöf and Smalling can challenge his first-choice centre back pairing.

José Mourinho warns Bailly and Jones should be "worried" about Victor Lindelöf taking their starting spot
Above: Victor Lindelöf training ahead of the defeat to Real Madrid | Photo: Getty Images/Dan Mullan

Manchester United manager José Mourinho has warned starting defenders Phil Jones and Eric Bailly should be "worried" about the quality of Victor Lindelöf, with the Swede confirmed to start in tonight's clash with Basel. 

Reasons to be worried 

Lindelöf was the first player signed by Mourinho in the summer after The Red Devils paid £30.7million to Benfica for his services, however it hasn't been the start to life in England that the 23-year-old will have hoped for. 

The defender had a nightmare start in the Super Cup defeat to Real Madrid which saw him dropped from the opening victory over West Ham, with the manager stating that the defender needed time to settle in to Premier League football

Mourinho confirmed that both Lindelöf and Chris Smalling would start in the Champions League clash with Basel, and the coach stated that both Bailly and Jones should be "worried" about the quality of Lindelöf and him taking their starting position from here on out. 

“I don't think Bailly and Jones are better than them,” Mourinho said in his pre-match press conference. “I think they are the same level, they are just different players." 

“Even if Jones and Bailly were not suspended," the manager stated. "Probably I would still play Lindelof and Smalling tomorrow because for me they are the same level." 

"He is a very good player with a very good potential," the 54-year-old proclaimed. "And honestly I think there are reasons for the other boys, Eric and Jones, for them to be worried because Victor is a very good player.”

 

 

Happy to be back in it 

Tuesday will be a long-awaited return for The Red Devils to Europe's elite competition after a two-year absence, with Mourinho's side securing their place in the group stages after the Europa League victory over Ajax

Some will say that United dodged a bullet with their group stage draw against; Basel, Benfica and CSKA Moscow, and midfielder Paul Pogba stated that he rejoined United to "play in the Champions League" and that he is "very happy" to be playing elite European football for United once again. 

"Obviously, I came to Manchester United to play in the Champions League," he told the official matchday programme. "I knew, last season, when I signed and came back here, that I would be playing in the Europa League." 

"So the objective was to win that," the French youngster stated. "To obviously go back into the Champions League."

"That’s what we did and I’m very happy," Pogba concluded. "Now we’re just back in it and back to the best cup competition in the world."