Daley Blind’s solid display during Manchester United’s victory over Everton on Sunday came as yet further proof he deserves his place as centre-back in Louis van Gaal's starting XI.
Question marks were asked over Van Gaal’s failure to sign a defender last summer but, after nullifying the threat of Romelu Lukaku, there can be no doubting Blind’s importance to the side.
And whilst Jose Mourinho may still take the reins at the end of the season, whoever is in charge next year should keep Blind alongside Chris Smalling at the heart of the defence.
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Lukaku has been one of the best strikers in the Premier League this season but was marked out of the game as Blind and Smalling delivered yet another strong performance.
The Belgian, who has been linked with a summer move to Old Trafford, ultimately did little to justify the hype that also seen him rumoured to be tickling the fancy of European heavyweights Bayern Munich and Juventus.
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Blind, alongside the likes of David de Gea and Anthony Martial, is currently one of the first names on Van Gaal’s teamsheet having made a seamless transition from midfielder to centre-back.
He was signed on the same day as Radamel Falcao in 2014 and whilst the Netherlands international didn't attract the same blockbuster attention as the Colombian, he has been a resounding success at Old Trafford and proved money well spent.
Centre-backs Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo have blown hot and cold this campaign, largely through injury, with the latter often utilised as a left-back in Luke Shaw's absence.
Blind was initially signed to provide competition in central midfield but with Michael Carrick, Morgan Schneiderlin, Ander Herrera and Bastian Schweinsteiger now to choose from, Van Gaal has arguably found a better and more important role for his countryman.
As mentioned, much has been made of United's failure to recruit at centre-back yet Blind looks capable of occupying the position for years to come.
And regardless of whether Van Gaal stays or Mourinho arrives this summer, the 26-year-old will take some dislodging as Smalling's long-term partner.
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