The Daily Express have fuelled speculation, suggesting that new Red Devils manager Louis van Gaal is ready to make the Netherlands international his third major signing at Old Trafford this summer, as the club prepare a £17 million offer.
Blind was named the Dutch Footballer of the Year last season - an award won by his legendary father Danny Blind, as well Luis Suarez, Wilfried Bony and former United-man Jaap Stam - and received great praise for his performances in the World Cup as the Netherlands reached the semi-final stage of the competition.
He has been able to prove his pedigree at the highest level throughout the past few months and it’s no surprise to see him being chased by Europe’s finest outfits, including the likes of United and Catalan giants Barcelona.
Although the club’s fans will be craving a marquee signing before the close of the summer window, Blind would be a fantastic addition to Van Gaal’s squad. Here’s five reasons why the Dutchman is worth the reported £17million:
- Versatility; Blind can play as a centre-half, could cover as left back if Luke Shaw was unavailable and could even step up to be a defensive midfielder should the opportunity arise. The Dutchman featured most prominently in central midfield last campaign, recording 20 appearances in this role, however, he also played 16 matches at left-back.
- Passing ability; the 24-year-old recorded an average passing accuracy of 87% at this summer’s World Cup, displaying his fantastic ability to utilise possession with maximum efficiency. His success-rate when picking out a team-mate is one of the greatest aspects of his game, and more importantly, a required asset for a top class player, particularly a central-midfielder. The pass-completion percentage of the entire Man United squad was just 84% during the previous campaign.
- Attacking impetus; when given a reduced defensive responsibility, Blind has been allowed to demonstrate more of his creative, attacking ability. In Brazil he fashioned seven key passes, assisting three of his side’s tournament goals, he also grabbed one for himself. Meanwhile, he created 37 chances for Ajax - the third highest total in the squad.
- Defensive awareness; Blind averaged 2.7 tackles and 2.6 interceptions throughout his 29 Eredivisie appearances last term, displaying his defensive mindedness and doggedness when charged with protecting the Ajax back-four. Only Marouane Fellaini averaged a greater number of challenges, whilst Michael Carrick was the only Red Devil to manage more interceptions.
- Aerial prowess; Blind isn’t shy when it comes to aerial challenges, winning the ball from 66% of his attempted headers in the Eredivisie last season. He does not shake his responsibility in the centre of the park and appears to be well equipped of the physical nature of the Premier League.