Jose Mourinho would be wrong to sell Daley Blind

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According to reports earlier this week from Sky Sports, new Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is set to sanction the sales of first team regulars Juan Mata and Daley Blind.

Mourinho's reluctance to work with Juan Mata once again will come as a shock to very few, with the Portuguese boss himself having sold Mata to United in 2014 - just six months after the Spanish midfielder had been crowned Chelsea's player of the season.

The newly appointed Man Utd manager's decision to sell Daley Blind however, will come as a much larger shock to many.


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After an inconspicuous start in which the versatile former Ajax man was used in a wide variety of positions, Blind won over the hearts and minds of many at Old Trafford after being given a regular starting berth at the heart of United's defence.

Making up for his lack of height and physical presence with his excellent reading of the game and tactical prowess, Blind formed a formidable defensive partnership with Chris Smalling over the course of last season - a partnership which saw United concede the joint fewest goals in the league in the 2015/2016 campaign.

Irrespective of his mental attributes, however, Mourinho is said to harbour doubts over the physical side of Blind's game.

Standing at just 5 ft 11 in, Blind is no doubt an anomaly in terms of the stereotypical modern centre-back, many of whom stand a good three or four inches clear of six feet.

Whilst still able to keep pace on the ball with many of the league's top strikers, Blind also lacks the explosive speed needed to truly counter teams who plan on sitting deep and playing solely on the break.

This type of tall, fast centre-back is reportedly exactly what Mourinho is said to be looking for in the market over the summer - with names such as Kostas Manolas and Aymeric Laporte already having been linked.

Mourinho may also choose to return to two of his former clubs, with Real Madrid's Raphael Varane and Inter Milan's Miranda also having been linked with a move.

Whilst all four of the aforementioned names certainly have the jump on the Blind (excuse the pun) in terms of both speed and physicality, all four lack a number of other attributes that make Blind all the more valuable.

Versatility for example. Blind has already shown at both United and former club Ajax his ability to play, and play well, in a number of roles and positions, including centre back, left back, holding midfield, and even on occasion further forward.

Now whilst some would argue that this only highlights the fact that Blind is not a natural centre-back, and is surely not the type of player United should have at the heart of their defence, it does at least prove that the player is both willing and able to fill in wherever and whenever the manager requires him.

It also highlights Blind's excellent ability to read the game. A student of Ajax's famous academy, he certainly conforms to the stereotype of possessing the tactical prowess that so many Dutch players seem to bring with them.

Taking into account both this understanding as well as his overall versatility, Blind surely at least merits a place in Mourinho's squad heading into next season.

Whilst he may not fit the profile of a stereotypical Mourinho centre back, any world-class squad should be constantly prepared for injuries to strike, and were Chris Smalling or his soon-to-arrive new partner to fall victim - or even Luke Shaw in his wider role - Blind would certainly offer a more than capable replacement.

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Wayne Rooney
Manchester United
Daley Blind
Transfer News
Premier League
Juan Mata

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