Former Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar claims he is ‘proud’ to see former Ajax midfielder Daley Blind shining at Old Trafford.
Blind was one of six new recruits brought in by Louis van Gaal last season, and a predictable signing given Van Gaal’s association to the Dutch side and Blind’s performances at the World Cup.
The midfielder played a peach of a ball to set up current United star Robin van Persie in the 5-1 win against Spain, before scoring himself during the third-place play-off against Brazil.
Blind was brought in on deadline day from Ajax, where Van der Sar is currently part of the backroom staff, and the former goalkeeper is happy to see one of the club’s former players doing well at Old Trafford.
“Of course, we’re proud,” van der Sar told ManUtd.com. “Even though we had a little bit of a headache over how to replace a player like Daley.
“He was eight years old when he came to Ajax and I saw him as a little boy with his father [Danny] when he came to the matches and was in the players’ lounge or at the training ground. It was great to see the way he developed in those 16 years through the Academy and into the first team, playing in a fantastic World Cup, and then to get a great transfer to a club that is very stable and a great club under the guidance of Louis [van Gaal]. I hope he continues with the way he is developing.
“He has really shown a lot of maturity in the way he plays, whether in midfield or the left-back position, of course everybody is really proud of how he’s doing but there must also be compliments for the coaches at Ajax and our philosophy of bringing players through into the first team and making sure they get a great career afterwards.”
Blind made 25 Premier League appearances during his opening season, his season was curtailed slightly in November when a knee injury picked up on international duty which ruled him out for almost two months.
He scored 2 goals, both crucial late equalisers at West Brom and West Ham, but his utility man qualities seem to suit Van Gaal more than anything. Whilst Blind was predominantly used a midfielder, he regularly filled in for an injured Luke Shaw at left-back during the campaign.