Daley Blind has admitted to the club’s official website that the pace of the Premier League left him feeling “a little tired” during his first few weeks at Manchester United.
Blind, 24, sealed a £14 million move to United from Ajax in September to reunite with former Netherlands boss Louis van Gaal, having proved one of the star performers of the summer’s World Cup.
The versatile Dutchman has since made 17 total appearances for the club, with most coming in a defensive midfield role, while also adding two goals and two assists in the process.
After returning last month from knee ligament damage which forced him to miss 10 games, the former Eredivisie star has been an ever-present in the side, but he admits that the tempo of the Premier League took him aback somewhat to begin with.
“The biggest difference is the Premier League is played at a much higher tempo,” he told Inside United. “In Holland you have some points in a game when you can say ‘okay, let’s have a rest for a few minutes and play the ball around!’
“When I played my first games here, I noticed the difference and was a little tired! The tempo is definitely much higher here.”
Blind won the Dutch Football of the Year award last season after helping guide Ajax to their fourth-consecutive league title, but the 25-times capped international admits that he prefers the competitive nature of English football.
“Yes. That’s one of the things I like and also every team in the Premier League is capable of winning against the other team,” he added. “It’s a higher level and higher tempo. In Holland only really four or five teams are fighting with each other [for the title] - there is a big difference with the rest.”
While Blind was far from United’s flashiest summer signing alongside Angel Di Maria, Radamel Falcao, Marcos Rojo and Ander Herrera, there’s a clear argument to make that he has since proved the most consistent and, considering both his price tag and versatility, it looks like the club have got a real bargain.