Manchester United’s appointment of Jose Mourinho this summer has seen the club’s squad undergo a relatively major transformation.
The club have splurged a world-record transfer fee and brought in four new faces of real quality, while a host of the existing players, including Bastian Schweinsteiger, have been told they can find a new club.
One player whose future at Old Trafford was seemingly up in the air was Daley Blind, with reports earlier this month that the Netherlands international could be on his way out of the club.
However, the versatile former Ajax star has started both of United’s Premier League outings at centre-half so far this season.
— Daley Blind (@BlindDaley) August 19, 2016
Whether Chris Smalling’s return to availability will push Blind out of the side remains to be seen, but Mourinho would be advised to keep hold of the Dutchman.
New signing Eric Bailly has looked impressive in the early days of his United career, but much of this has to do with his partnership with Blind.
The former Villarreal enforcer is fast, powerful and good in the air but one thing that has become immediately apparent is his rashness.
Bailly is quick to lunge into challenges and impulsive in stepping out of the United defensive line, which against improved opponents could spell trouble for the Red Devils.
— TEAMtalk (@TEAMtalk) August 16, 2016
However, Blind is the exact opposite of his defensive partner; studious, vigilant and calculated.
The Netherlands international and his reading of the game is the perfect foil for Bailly’s impulsiveness and as such the pair could well be an ideal first-choice pairing in the heart of United’s defence.
Although not as physically imposing as many of the central defenders that Mourinho has had in previous teams, Blind’s unique attributes appear to be winning his coach over.