Ajax manager Frank de Boer says his former captain Daley Blind deserved his summer move to Manchester United, and has also revealed what position the versatile Dutchman prefers.
Blind, 24, won the Dutch Footballer of the Year award last season after helping guide Ajax to their fourth-consecutive Eredivisie title, making most of his 29 league appearances in the holding midfield role.
Starring performances at left wing-back for the Netherlands during their run to the World Cup semi-finals would lead to him reuniting with ex-national team manager Louis van Gaal at United in a £13.8 million deal, and De Boer is hoping to see him go on to earn more recognition in the Premier League.
‘For Daley it’s a great transfer,’ he told ITV. ‘He’s been playing for Ajax since he was 10 years old, and now he can hopefully show his qualities at United.
‘He started as a full-back but I think now he prefers to be a controlling midfielder. I think he’ll have two or three options [at United] - either at wing-back or on the left in a central midfield pairing.
‘He’ll have to get used to the rhythm of the league first, but he’s a really quick thinker and nowadays that’s very important.’
Boasting the versatility to fill a number of defensive positions in Van Gaal’s 3-4-1-2 system, it remains to be seen where the former Barcelona boss sees Blind fitting into his lineup long-term but, with Luke Shaw set to fill the left-back slot upon his return to fitness, he could well be looking at a future in his preferred midfield role.