Former Newcastle United striker Patrick Kluivert has been singing the praises of Manchester United midfielder Daley Blind.
The Netherlands international joined the Red Devils from Dutch giants Ajax in the summer transfer window for a fee of £14 million.
Blind can play both at left-back and in defensive midfield, and it is in the latter position where he has been deployed by United manager Louis van Gaal.
The 24-year-old has turned out to be an important player for the Manchester outfit, his calm, mature and intelligent displays proving to be key in United’s resurgence in recent weeks.
Kluivert, who worked with Blind during his two years as assistant manager to Van Gaal at the Netherlands national team, believes that he is being played in his best position.
‘Daley gives great protection for the defence – that's one of his real strengths’, the 38-year-old told United’s official website. ‘At the moment he’s playing left-back for the Dutch national team but I think he is even stronger as a midfielder.
‘He can divide a game very well. He’s very calm, he’s good at winning possession and his vision is excellent. The fans have already seen his quality and I think he will continue to grow’.
Blind's stats at United suggest that he is indeed capable of becoming a long-term success in defensive midfield. The former Ajax star has created three chances, has won 49% of his duels, has a pass accuracy of 89% and a shot accuracy of 50% in four Premier League appearances.
The Dutchman, though, has been criticised for his lack of pace, and that could prove to be a problem for him as the season progresses.