Daley Blind produced another commanding display at left back during Manchester United’s 1-0 win over Saint Etienne in the Europa League last 32.
The Dutchman, on a night that demanded calm heads from the visitors, patrolled the left hand side of defence with marksman-like efficiency, ensuring that ASSE never managed to exploit any gaps going forward.
A glance at the numbers sheds light on what was another complete display from the 26-year-old.
Blind's game by numbers vs. St. Etienne:
2 key passes
100% tackles won
100% aerial duels won
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) February 22, 2017
You can tell that Blind received his footballing education at a time where Ajax’s production line of young talent was at its zenith. His style encapsulates more than mere technical assurance; he plays the game with his head first and feet second. The Dutchman possesses a unique ability to mentally navigate any situation he finds himself in, almost as if every action was planned, practiced and perfected before being implemented.
Jose Mourinho has expressed a preference for utilising one full-back as a more defensively orientated influence and another for attacking impetus. And with Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia both emerging as genuine threats going forward this season, one senses that the Portuguese will be happy to sit back and watch Blind calmly eradicate any threat that comes his way as Man United approach a crucial stage of the season.