Louis van Gaal has already brought one left-back to Old Trafford since becoming the new manager of Manchester United. Now he must recruit another. But the veteran Dutch coach should look close to home for the perfect player to replace Patrice Evra who, by all accounts, is poised to join Juventus.
Daley Blind, son of former Ajax defender Danny, has the required quality and mentality to succeed at Old Trafford. His versatility makes him the ideal replacement for Evra, whose presence will be sorely missed inside the United dressing room.
Why Daley Blind?
Blind is not the most naturally gifted left-back on the market; that was Luke Shaw, until United paid Southampton a cool £27 million to secure the 18-year-old England international’s services last month. If Van Gaal wants the next best thing, he should make a bid for Wolfsburg’s Ricardo Rodriguez - but what would be the point?
Rodriguez isn’t going to want to come to Old Trafford to sit on the bench. The 21-year-old Switzerland international looks destined to play for one of Europe’s biggest clubs, as a starter.
Blind, however, is capable of playing in defensive midfield as well as at left-back - in fact, it might even be his best position. Over the last few weeks, at the World Cup finals in Brazil, we’ve all seen exactly why the £12.5 million-rated 24-year-old picked up the Dutch Footballer of the Year award for 2014.
Van Gaal knows - and trusts - Blind
Amongst the past winners of that coveted individual accolade include Jaap Stam and Ruud van Nistelrooy - two players who flourished at Old Trafford. There’s no reason why Blind can’t follow in their footsteps and become the latest Dutch superstar to ply his trade for the Premier League giants.
That Van Gaal knows and trusts Blind would be a major plus point. The player would have the manager’s backing and understanding from the start of his spell at a club where huge pressure exists.
But with the help of Van Gaal and Robin van Persie, the current Netherlands captain, Blind would presumably have few troubles settling into his new surroundings. That Manchester United are also out of Europe during the 2014/15 campaign would also provide a season to bed in properly before the real fun begins.
Daley Blind: Manchester United’s next signing?
Every successful team contains versatile players
While Blind may not be a household name in the same way the likes of Toni Kroos or Cesc Fabregas are - two players strongly linked with a move to Old Trafford before Van Gaal decided to pull the plug - he is the type of player that every successful team needs.
Look back at successful Manchester United sides of the past. John O’Shea and Phil Neville were by no means the most talented players in the Red Devils squad, but they always did a job for Sir Alex Ferguson when called upon.
If the former United boss asked them to play at full-back, they did it; in midfield, they did it; out on the wing, they did it. O’Shea even went in goal during one Premier League match against Tottenham in 2007.
Between O’Shea and Neville, they won 11 Premier League titles, four FA Cups and two Champions League winners’ medals.
And you wouldn’t bet against Blind adding a few medals to his collections if selected by Van Gaal to replace the departing Evra.