85% pass accuracy: £13.8m United signing remains defiant in defeat

Louis Van Gaal

Daley Blind experienced a tough start to life as a Manchester United player, but luckily for Red Devils fans this latest upset came in a Netherlands' shirt.

The 24-year-old featured at left-back in his nation's 2-0 defeat at the hands of Italy, facing the threat of Torino winger Matteo Darmian. Manchester United fans will have been spectating in earnest, although it's likely they have seen the Dutchman in a position he will occupy less often for the 2012/13 Premier League champions. 

His versatility makes him an indispensable asset to his new side, but despite popular misconceptions, he operates best as a defensive midfielder. This is the role he's likely to charged with by Louis Van Gaal at Old Trafford, tasked with anchoring the midfield, creating balance between defence and attack. 

There will be no complaints with his aptness in possession, after all, he completed 85% of his attempted passes versus the Italians, whilst accumulating a total of 94 touches; a greater number than any of his team-mates. 

His ability on the left side of defence is clear to see, and if necessary, he would provide decent back-up for the club's first team choice Luke Shaw. He weighed in with two tackles in this particular fixture, whilst making three interceptions and one effective clearance.

In fact, considering the teenager's current injury situation, Blind could feature at full-back in the club's next Premier League fixture versus Queens Park Rangers. Fellow summer signing Marcos Rojo is expected to slot in at centre-back, with the Dutchman operating the wing-back role in Van Gaal's 3-5-2 system. 

His inclusion will provide a notable improvement on Ashley Young, who has previously been tasked with patrolling the left flank. Although he may lack the Englishman's pace, Blind's tactical awareness makes him far more adept in this position.

We witnessed his ability to cause problems in the final third throughout the World Cup and he posed similar problems for the Italians in Thursday evening's fixture. Despite frustration caused by his side's failure to impact the final scoreline, he fashioned a key pass and even went for goal himself on one occasion. 

Manchester United fans will be waiting in intrigue to see how Van Gaal utilised Blind in his system, but one thing's for sure, his versatility makes him a very valuable addition to the current side. 

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