Manchester United centre-back Victor Lindelof thinks extra competition at the back has led to improved performances from the defenders at the club.
Over the summer they splashed the cash on Aaron Wan-Bissaka from Crystal Palace for £50million and Harry Maguire from Leicester for £80m, and both players have appeared to settled in well at Old Trafford.
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is likely to name the same back five as he has in United’s opening two games when his side take on Palace this weekend, and Lindelof believes the pressure of needing to perform to keep your place in the team has improved some players.
Speaking to MUTV Lindelof said: “We have very good players in the squad and everyone wants to play.
“In the first two games, we’ve been playing that back five (David De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire and Luke Shaw) and have been performing well but it’s hard because you always have to perform well.
“It’s because there is always someone there who wants to play but that’s part of football. It’s very important for us and good for the team to have that.
“It’s very important for a team to have competition for places. If you don’t have that, then maybe you don’t push yourself to the next level. It’s what we’re doing every day right now and also what will take us to the next level, I think.”
The 25-year-old also believes a gruelling pre-season helped the side start the season quickly, with their fitness levels appearing to be above some other sides.
“We worked very hard and you can see that in the games as well,” Lindelof added.
“We run much more now and have the capability of sprinting at high speed, even in the 80th or 90th minute. It’s very important to be able to do it in football. It’s been great.
“I think the fans are always behind us and we have been improving a lot. I reckon we can improve even more under Ole and the other staff. I think we work very hard for each other as a team and run a lot. I think that is what the fans want to see.”