95% Pass success: £14m Dutchman hits the ground running on Manchester United debut

Old Trafford

Angel Di Maria may have stolen the plaudits in Manchester United's 4-0 victory over QPR, but holding-midfielder Daley Blind is equally as deserving of praise.

Manchester United have long-awaited a player capable of anchoring the midfield and the club's weekend encounter with Queens Park Rangers provided early indication that Louis Van Gaal has finally discovered the solution to this long-term problem

Former Ajax midfielder Daley Blind, the club's £14 million deadline-day signing, provided a much-needed link between defence and attack in this 4-0 victory, posing all of the qualities necessary to allow United’s more exciting players to concentrate solely on getting forward. 

Intelligence

Blind stuck rigidly to his job at the base of United’s midfield, clearing up any sign of danger around the centre circle. It was obvious from the off just how well he reads the game. He proved adept in possession, keeping things simple with his neat and tidy one-touch passing. 

  MatchPass Completion (%)Total PassAccurate PassFwd PassBackward PassSideways PassTouchesMins
Daley Blind Man Utd vs QPR 95.54 112 107 19 12 81 122 90

In total he fashioned 112 passes, 107 of which found their intended mark. He also recorded 122 touches - the most of any United player. 

The 24-year-old is not the most athletic of players and hence relies on his ability to anticipate opposition attacks and intercept play when in defence. He weighed in with two interceptions and three clearances, whilst winning a further two tackles, as he stifled the opposition's attempts to move forward.

  Won TackleAerial WonInterceptionDispossessed
Blind 2 2 2 0

Blind stamped his authority on every loose ball, dominating the area in front of the club's back four and ultimately his ability to interject prevented the Queens Park Rangers midfield from experiencing even the slightest success.

Despite his side's dominance he stuck doggedly to his defensive duties, with just six of his touches coming within the final third. Although, he was able to show his shooting ability late in the game, when his rebounded effort almost led to a debut goal for Radamel Falcao.

Verdict

In Daley Blind, Louis Van Gaal and Manchester United have acquired a very intelligent player, who looks set to adapt very easily to English football. Based on first impressions, the £14 million signing looks the man to provide the midfield security the Old Trafford faithful have been craving for sometime now. 

Despite being the least acclaimed of the Red Devil's summer arrivals, he could well prove to be the most important.

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