Manchester United have started this season as poorly as they ended the last one, which means any new additions could be welcome.
The club started the English Premier League season with a loss and a draw, which was not as embarrassing as the Capital One Cup loss to MK Dons of League One. Even the recent transfer of Angel Di Maria, as reported by BBC Sport, will not be enough to turn things around in Old Trafford.
In reality, the attack does not need much help. What is needed is defence and versatility—two things they can get from Daley Blind.
As Mike Keegan of BBC Sport reports, no bid has been made for the 24-year-old Ajax player:
Daley Blind's agent has told Talksport #mufc have not made a bid for his client.— Mike Keegan (@mikekeeganbbc) August 27, 2014
Mark Ogden of The Telegraph suggests Manchester United remain in pursuit of the talented defender:
With Louis van Gaal, the United manager, determined to make further additions to his squad before the transfer deadline next Monday, the club are expected to pursue moves for the AC Milan midfielder Nigel de Jong and the Ajax defender Daley Blind once Di Maria has been secured.
Meanwhile, Ajax director of football Marc Overmars explained to De Telegraaf (h/t Jamie Jackson of The Guardian) that he does not want to give up his player for nothing:
We believe that we currently have a strong team and want Daley to stay for another year. Only if the absolute top price is paid is a transfer negotiable. Daley’s management know how we feel at the moment. Next year we will have a much more lenient policy, we are willing to talk with Daley and we will settle for a reasonable price.
While you never want to overpay for anyone in the transfer market, Blind could be a valuable addition to a team that needs it.
Louis van Gaal knows the player well from his time with the Netherlands national team. Blind was a key part of the team's run to the semifinals at the 2014 World Cup, earning a spot on Sports Illustrated's list of unsung heroes.
His best play came on a long assist to Robin van Persie:
Manchester United fans would certainly love to see this type of play on a regular basis at Old Trafford.
However, it is not just his offensive ability that would be useful. He is also a quality defender who makes consistent tackles and knows how to secure possession and hold on to it. No matter where he lines up, he is someone who can control the match and limit opportunities for the opposing squad.
After seeing the midfield issues to start the year, United need this type presence on the pitch.
Still, the biggest factor that makes Blind valuable is his ability to play multiple positions. He played as a left-back and left midfielder for the Netherlands in Brazil, but he also showed at Ajax that he can play centrally as either a midfielder or centre-back.
With Matt Morlidge of the Daily Mail reporting that Luke Shaw is out with a hamstring injury, it seems like all of these positions could use an upgrade.
Tim Simon of Squawka explains why this would be a perfect match:
Blind’s versatility is not purely positional, he is very experienced in tactical systems that Van Gaal prefers, whether it be his traditional 4-3-3, a 5-3-2 or a 3-4-1-2, meaning he would need no time to adapt. After playing in every game at the World Cup, it is obvious the United manager has faith in Blind and it seems logical that he will turn to the 24-year-old as time is running out to strengthen his squad.
Van Gaal is always willing to switch up formations, and Blind can clearly fit in with any of the systems.
It is clear Manchester United do not care about the amount of money they spend in the transfer window, which makes this move worth the potentially high cost. If this deal can be completed, Blind could provide some stability to a squad that needs it.
While the group still has a long way to go to get back to the top of the English Premier League table, this would be a big step in the right direction.
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