The Daily Mail confirmed the news:
BREAKING: Ajax confirm Daley Blind is a Manchester United player http://t.co/E7bT5betiB— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) September 1, 2014
Manchester United also confirmed the news on their Twitter account:
United confirmed that Blind is arriving on a four-year deal and passed along quotes from the player:
It is a real honour to sign for Manchester United.
I have been at Ajax since I was seven years old and I will always have very fond memories of the club and of my time there.
Louis van Gaal is a tremendously talented coach, I have worked with him at Ajax and also for the Netherlands national team and I cannot wait to work with him at the biggest club in the world.
Blind will wear the No. 17 jersey during his time at Old Trafford:
The 24-year-old joins up with manager Louis van Gaal once again, having worked together in the Netherlands national team set-up as well. The Dutch boss will thus be well aware of the qualities Blind possesses.
Blind expressed his delight at the move, which will bolster United's options in defence and midfield, per Mark Ogden of The Telegraph:
I got a call on Friday night that the clubs had agreed a deal. I was with my girlfriend and we went to my parents to drink a glass of wine. 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.
For United, Blind’s reported signing makes a huge amount of sense. He’s a player that’ll be well aware of what Van Gaal demands from his squad, and his acquisition will only serve as a catalyst for the full implementation of the United manager’s bespoke principles. Currently, a host of United’s players have struggled to take said principles on board.
Blind’s versatility is also a major factor in what’s made him such a vital player for both Ajax and the Netherlands. During the World Cup, he was the man that Van Gaal had no qualms about shifting around the pitch. The Ajax academy graduate was drafted into various different areas and even in mid-game, he was happy to alter his position.
The left-sided player can operate comfortably in a central defensive or central midfield role, and he’s shown that he can do an equally astute job as a left wing-back or as an orthodox left full-back.
Former England international Gary Lineker thinks United have done a shrewd piece of business by picking up Blind:
It may sound like Manchester United have invested in a Braille newspaper, but in Daley Blind they have a talented, versatile player.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) August 30, 2014
Bleacher Report’s Sam Tighe does as well:
Love Daley Blind, love his smooth, calm nature. Love his versatility. Excellent from #MUFC.— Sam Tighe (@stighefootball) August 30, 2014
Blind is admittedly understated stylistically, but he has all the requisite credentials you would expect of a player that has been schooled in the Ajax philosophy. He’s effective on the ball, intelligent in his defending and shrewd in his positioning on the pitch.
OptaJohan provides us with an indication of his all-round ability here:
1 - Daley Blind made the most passes (2089), interceptions (74) and tackles (77) of all Ajax players last Eredivisie season. Transcendent.— OptaJohan (@OptaJohan) August 30, 2014
He can also play a wonderful long pass, as illustrated by his pinged delivery to Robin van Persie for his stunning goal against Spain in the World Cup (via Bleacher Report UK):
Want to see *that* Daley Blind pass at the World Cup again? https://t.co/sLpW4wCOan— Bleacher Report UK (@br_uk) August 30, 2014
After a turbulent start to the campaign, a player that does things with a relative simplicity could be exactly what United need. The acquisition of Angel Di Maria was undeniably a major coup for the Red Devils, but a defensive presence in midfield and reinforcements at centre-back were also desperately needed.
And while they may not have brought in the numbers as of yet, they have now signed a young player that can do an excellent job in those positions and a few more to boot.