Manchester United star Daley Blind has admitted that he had the opportunity to join Atletico Madrid before his move to Old Trafford in 2014.
Speaking candidly over his missed chance to switch to La Liga in 2013, Blind revealed that he almost moved to the Vicente Calderon on a free transfer, but didn’t want to leave Ajax in the lurch.
Eventually the Dutchman was prised from the Amsterdam Arena when Louis van Gaal was appointed United manager last summer, but it would appear that many Red Devils fans don’t know just how lucky they are to have him.
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"I could have signed for Atletico [on a free transfer in 2013] if I wanted to. But I would not have cost Atletico anything apart from my wages," he revealed, as Goal relay.
"They did not really have to make an investment to sign me. For me, that is always a bit of a disadvantage."
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Since moving to Manchester Blind has become a hot favourite with the Old Trafford fans. Not only is he reliable in a number of positions, including centre-back, left-back and midfield, but he’s also settled into the rhythm of Premier League football exceptionally quickly.
As a result it seems that he has all the traits needed to become a stalwart at United, especially if his fine relationship with Van Gaal continues to blossom. It was the 63-year-old’s faith in Blind at the World Cup in Brazil that put him in the shop window, and the trust certainly goes both ways.
Move to central defence
So much so in fact that Van Gaal has hinted that he could use Blind as a centre-back moving forward, which may negate the need for him to sign another defender during this transfer window.
The likes of Sergio Ramos, Mats Hummels and Nicolas Otamendi have been linked with Old Trafford, but Van Gaal’s recent admission that Blind could feature in the heart of the back-line more often next season won’t have gone unnoticed.
Indeed at just £14million Blind looks like he might be one of United’s best signings of the past few years. The 25-year-old has plenty of time to develop as a player yet, but already boasts a level consistency rarely found in foreign players during their maiden terms in England.
Competition for a start
That said of course he’ll have plenty of competition for a starting berth next year as Van Gaal looks to drive his side towards the Premier League title.
Marcos Rojo and Luke Shaw are two who will fight him for the full-back position, whereas Bastian Schweinsteiger, Morgan Schneiderlin and Michael Carrick will inevitably jostle for the areas in front of the back four.
United fans, is Blind going to become a legend at Old Trafford? Has he got the potential to be an all-time great? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below.