Daley Blind has revealed his intentions to become a leading figure at Manchester United, stating that he wants to follow his his father’s footsteps under Louis van Gaal.
Danny Blind, whose son signed for the Red Devils this summer for a fee of £14million after an impressive World Cup, captained Van Gaal’s Ajax side to Champions League victory in 1995, and was described by the Dutch coach as being the best leader he has managed in all his years at high-profile clubs.
And, following his link-up with Van Gaal, Daley is now set on improving himself as a leader, admitting that he had read the interview with the United boss, according to the Daily Mirror.
“I read it,” Blind Jr. said.
“I hope I become a bit of a leader like my dad was, but I am still young. I am still improving and this is a new era for me, coming to a new area.
“But I can be that (a leader). I have to learn it and have to keep it up but I am learning every day, including about being a leader.”
Blind at United
Having occupied the central midfield role for virtually all of his games at Old Trafford it’s been made clear that Blind has been purchased to add protection to Van Gaal’s defence. Despite playing in a left-wing back position for the Netherlands at the World Cup this summer the arrivals of Marcos Rojo and Luke Shaw have meant that the 24-year-old has taken up an infield role, with United having three of the four games he has played in thus far.
Age is most certainly on his side with regards to his ambitions of one day being a leader for Van Gaal similar to the one his father was. With current captain Wayne Rooney 28 it makes sense to assume that the England international will relinquish the role before Blind is too old to take it on, and though others such as David de Gea and Phil Jones might be eyeing it too, Blind knows he’s a favourite of the United boss.
When it comes to who should be the next captain Van Gaal seems destined to have a difficult choice. Whereas Rooney had been a United player since his teen years and oozes passion each week, and therefore was the most obvious choice, only Jones can realistically lay claim to being a candidate to replace him out of the current crop of rising stars.
The likes of Tom Cleverley and Chris Smalling, once heralded as being potential future leaders of the club, have failed to develop as expected, and it would a surprise to see either man still at United by the time Rooney steps down.
Following Sunday’s hard-fought victory over Everton the Red Devils sit 4th in the Premier League table, and appear to be steadily finding their feet under Van Gaal’s new regime.