Louis van Gaal sweating on the fitness of Daley Blind

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Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal is hoping that Daley Blind returns from the international break with a clean bill of health, and is sweating on the prospect of the versatile midfielder picking up an injury that could affect his participation in the end of season run-in.

That's according to Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, who carry quotes from the 25-year-old, detailing exactly what the Red Devils boss said to him before meeting up with the Netherlands squad this week.

Van Gaal regards Blind as one of his most valuable players at Old Trafford given his ability to operate in a number of different positions, and would loathe it if he suffered another setback similar to the one that occurred during the former Ajax star's last appearance for the Oranje against Latvia on November 16.

Blind was sidelined for several weeks with knee ligament damage, finally making his return to Premier League action in the 1-0 defeat against Southampton on January 11, and Manchester United cannot afford to lose him again or else it risks bringing a premature end to his debut campaign at the Theatre of Dreams.

"Our goal with Manchester United's qualification for the Champions League and we look at on the way," reflected Blind on the eve of Holland's important European Championship qualifying match against Turkey.

With a five-point advantage over Liverpool in fifth place, Van Gaal's side are on course to qualify for Europe's elite club competition courtesy of a top four finish in 2014/15, but they cannot afford to take their foot off the gas in any of the remaining eight games.

That's probably the main reason why Van Gaal is so worried about keeping his first-team stars fit, and with doubts surrounding full-back Luke Shaw - who was forced to withdraw from the England squad with injury - it's even more important that Blind comes back in peak condition so he can continue filling in on the left side of defence.

"Louis wished me luck and said 'make sure you come back this time drawn fit'," he explained, before adding that he has no plans to pick up another knock. "That is not the intention."

The Netherlands take on Turkey on Saturday evening before playing an international friendly against Spain next Tuesday - a match that Van Gaal will be hoping Blind plays no part to minimise his chances of injury during the break.

Manchester United fans: Do you agree that Daley Blind has been one of your most important players this season? Who else do you think Louis van Gaal simply cannot do without between now and the end of the campaign? Have your say below!

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Premier League
Manchester United
Daley Blind
Louis van Gaal

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