Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben stole the show for the Netherlands against Spain in their opening Group B game at the 2014 World Cup finals, but a certain Daley Blind was noticeable as well.
The 24-year-old is a versatile player who can feature both as a left-back and as a defensive midfielder. Against reigning world and European champions Spain, the Ajax star was immense, and his performance saw French legend Thierry Henry brand him as the best player on the pitch while analysing the game for the BBC.
The World Cup will be a shopping window for many clubs, and Blind’s display against Spain has certainly put him in the limelight.
Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf recently claimed that he is a ‘serious candidate’ to move to United. New Red Devils manager Louis van Gaal knows him very well as he is also the Netherlands boss, and now it has been reported that he wants to sign him for the Manchester outfit.
However, Blind himself has played down the reports and is quoted by Goal.com as saying: ‘The link with Man United is easily made, because Robin [van Persie] is playing there and Van Gaal takes over next season’.
If you think about it, most big-name players who have been or were linked with a move to United this summer do have some kind of a Dutch connection. Thomas Muller, Toni Kroos, Arjen Robben, Dante, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Kevin Strootman all have played under Van Gaal at Bayern Munich and/or Dutch.
While it is true that a new manager will want to bring in players who he trusts and knows inside out, it can be a bit simplistic to assume that the players will want to join him too. True, certain players forge strong bonds with certain managers, but people move on and do the best for their careers.
Of course, it cannot be dismissed rightaway that Van Gaal does not want to sign the players United have been linked with. But at the same time, Blind’s assertion that the rumours stem from the players having a link with the manager or Van Persie cannot be ignored.