Newcastle United head coach John Carver has heaped praise on defender Daryl Janmaat ahead of Wednesday night’s Premier League visit of Manchester United, declaring at his pre-match press conference that opposition boss Louis van Gaal missed a trick in failing to sign his fellow Dutchman in the summer.
Janmaat, 25, was an ever-present in Van Gaal’s Netherlands side which progressed to the World Cup semi-finals, before being linked with a move to United once his compatriot swapped international football for Old Trafford, per the Daily Mail.
The then-Feyenoord full-back was not on the club’s transfer wishlist, however, and instead ended up making a £5 million switch to the North East, where he has since proven his price tag to be a significant bargain.
Making 27 Premier League appearances, while also recording one goal and six assists, his performances have earned him widespread praise among the fanbase, and Carver believes he is more than talented enough to have been starring in a red shirt rather than the black and white stripes.
“He's a top, top player who has been outstanding for us," he said. "He's a good defender who likes to get on the front foot and is actually second on the list of assists for full-backs behind Leighton Baines.
“I think Manchester United had more pressing issues to sort out. Van Gaal would have had his priorities.
"Let's not forget, when he came in he was talking about playing with three centre-backs. Even as a wing back, Daryl would have fitted into their system nicely."
Carver also revealed that Janmaat has been helping him plot United’s downfall along with Netherlands teammate Tim Krul, with the pair able to provide some insight into their ex-national team manager’s tactical approach.
"Tim and Daryl have helped with some of the organisational things," he added. "I'll keep private what they've said but it's been a helpful insight. If it doesn't help, they'll be fired!"