by Mark Weasley
The 2014 World Cup was lit up with Robin Van Persie’s diving header for The Netherlands in the 5-1 thumping of defending champions, Spain. The goal was that of sheer brilliance, the assist also was something out of a textbook. Daley Blind, the Ajax player was reportedly shown into the limelight, and hasn’t looked back ever since. To carve a niche for himself as the son of legendary Dutch football player, Danny Blind, he moved to Old Trafford and established himself as a versatile player for the now departed Loius van Gaal.
As with all versatile footballers, Blind has his fair share of critics who believe he isn’t physical and aggressive enough to play as a centre-back in the Premier League. He made a mockery of that last season, however, forming what was the joint best defensive record in the division, alongside Chris Smalling as his partner in the heart of the defence. Under Mourinho this season, he has been utilized as a left-back, in place of the out-of-sorts Luke Shaw, and also in centre back alongside the impressive new arrival, Eric Bailly.
However, in recent weeks, Mourinho has established an unlikely central defensive partnership in the mould of Rojo and Jones, and the pair have rewarded him with two clean sheets in the last 3 games. The potential arrival of Victor Lindelof in January could further push him down the pecking order at Old Trafford, and the Holland international must surely be considering his options at the moment.
His versatility could yet prove decisive in months to come, and his attitude and mentality could see him enter the fray of the first team. He can list Mkhitaryan, Jones, Darmian and Rojo if he finds motivation so hard to come by, as the aforementioned players have forced their way back to the thoughts of their manager.