Jose Mourinho says he will try and slowly bed Victor Lindelof into the Manchester United team instead of starting him straight away.
Lindelof joined as the club’s first summer signing in June, arriving from Benfica for £30.75m.
He featured heavily in pre-season, but was absent from the club’s matchday squad for the opening game of the Premier League campaign.
The centre-half was not even on the bench as United cantered to a 4-0 win over West Ham, but Mourinho has compared his first weeks in England to that of Ricardo Carvalho at Chelsea over a decade ago.
“I think Real Madrid was too early for him,” Mourinho said of the UEFA Super Cup defeat on Tuesday. “He played because Jones and Bailly were both suspended.
“I’ve had players coming from different leagues to the Premier League and normally it’s not easy. The difference between Lukaku and Matic is that they have years and years [of experience in] the Premier League.
“I brought in 2004 a phenomenal central defender to England: 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 adapt in the beginning. I think Victor is a little bit of that and he’s going to have that time.
“Mkhitaryan is not a defender and last season he needed his time. Let’s go step-by-step, because Victor is a fantastic player.”