To: Manchester United
Position: Defender / Midfielder
The son of former Netherlands international Danny Blind shot to prominence in this summer’s World Cup with his versatile performances as Louis van Gaal’s Dutch team finished third in Brazil. However, he was already well known for his displays for Ajax, where he has played on the left side of defence and deep-sitting midfield after graduating through their famous academy. Blind was named Dutch Footballer of the Year last season after winning the fourth Eredivisie title of his career with his boyhood club and also spent time on loan at Groningen in the past.
Gary Neville: “Daley Blind is a left-sided centre-back or a left-wing back. They (United) have got Luke Shaw and Marcos Rojo but they might need three players for that side of the pitch anyway. If one gets injured, you will need another; you need two players in every position.”
“I am enormously proud to be at one of the biggest clubs in the world. Everything has happened so suddenly. What exactly has gone off in the background, only my agent and my dad know, but it was a very exciting and tense time.”
If the World Cup is a measuring stick, United have got their hands on a player of superb ability. In seven appearances at the finals, Blind scored one goal and provided three assists; one of which demonstrated his killer passing in setting up Robin van Persie’s header against Spain. That Van Gaal is also very familiar with the 24-year-old and vice versa is an additional bonus and means he can immediately adapt to United’s new systems. This appears to strengthen United in every aspect.
|Eredivise 2013/14||Games||Key Passes Per Game||Passes On Average Per Game||Passing Success (%)|
It is hard to think of any negatives. United do now have a few options on the left of defence, with Luke Shaw and Marcos Rojo already at Old Trafford, but Blind is hardly going to be twiddling his thumbs on the bench. With Michael Carrick injured, Blind looks ready to be positioned in the centre of midfield and will bring more purpose to their passing.
The likes of Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur had also been linked with Blind earlier in the summer but it appears Van Gaal’s existing relationship with the player helped secure a move to United. And what a move it is. Blind is already a seasoned winner and, at just 24 years old, he still has room for improvement. This is a hit for United.
What is your verdict on the signing of Daley Blind?