Ajax no choice but to sell Daley Blind to Manchester United on transfer deadline day, that is according to Old Trafford legend Edwin van der Sar.
Writing in his column with Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, the former Manchester United number one came out in defence of his colleague at Ajax, Marc Overmars.
Louis van Gaal, another of Van der Sar’s compatriots, completed the signing of Blind on deadline day in a deal worth in the region of £14million, but fans of the Dutch champions criticised the club for allowing one of their most talented young players go.
Former Arsenal star Marc Overmars is in charge of transfer business at the Amsterdam Arena, which meant he bore the brunt of the criticism for the sale of Blind, but Van der Sar said it was unfair to single one person out and urged those making criticisms to face up to reality.
He admitted that with a club the size of Manchester United interested in one of their standout players, Ajax were unlikely to be able to hold on to the player and instead of criticism, Overmars should be praised for getting a good deal.
“Daley Blind’s contract with Ajax was expiring fifteen months ago. He could could have left on a free transfer,” said Van der Sar.
“[Instead] the club kept hold of him and he leaves now for a considerable amount to one of the biggest clubs in the world.”
Blind, who was named Dutch player of the season on Monday, can operate as a left-back, a centre-back and a defensive midfielder – the latter of the three positions is expected to be his role under Van Gaal at United.
Van der Sar is one of the most successful ever players in club football history, winning the Champions League twice – once with Ajax and once with Manchetser United – eight league titles in England and Holland, as well as numerous cup competitions.
He has now returned to Ajax and is currently the club's commercial director - one of many former greats being given roles at the Eredivisie champions.