The two biggest signings of the summer transfer window for Manchester United were certainly Angel di Maria and Radamel Falcao. While the former joined the Red Devils from Real Madrid for a club-record £59.7 million, the latter moved to the Premier League giants on a season-long loan deal from AS Monaco.
Falcao completed his switch to United on transfer deadline day and was certainly the biggest move made that day – at least in England.
But there was one more signing that United completed on deadline day: a certain Daley Blind moved to the Manchester outfit from Dutch giants Ajax, who were paid £14m for his services.
Blind may have had a good 2014 World Cup with the Netherlands - he was one of the best players in their march to the semi-finals - but he does not have the ‘star’ factor that Falcao and Di Maria have.
However, to manager Louis van Gaal, the 24-year-old is a very important player who is going to give him options both in defence and midfield. The Dutchman sees his compatriot playing in defensive midfield, although he will also use him at the back as well.
‘He is a player who can see situations in advance’, Van Gaal told MUTV. ‘He can [therefore] always pass to the free player, and when he doesn't have the ball, he knows when he has to press the opponent. That's a very good ability to have.
‘I like him as a defensive midfielder, but he can also play in central defence or at left full-back. He can run for 90 minutes too and is always fit. That’s another very good quality for a player’.
United signed defensive midfielder Ander Herrera from Athletic Bilbao earlier in the summer, and Van Gaal’s revelation about where he would like to play Blind pretty much makes it clear who his two anchormen in midfield will be.
This is going to raise questions on how much playing time the likes of Michael Carrick, Marouane Fellaini and Darren Fletcher are going to get as the season progresses, but Van Gaal would rather have fierce competition for places than no competition at all.