Daley Blind has argued his case for the left centre-back role at Manchester United and insisted he is smart enough to play in that position.
The 25-year-old was partnered alongside Chris Smalling for Man United’s opening day win against Tottenham Hotspur and put in what was probably his best performance in that role so far.
Louis van Gaal was expected to sign a central defender this summer to strengthen that position, with the likes of Nicolas Otamendi and Sergio Ramos widely rumoured as potential targets, but nothing has come to fruition so far.
While that search may not be over, Blind’s desire to play and Van Gaal’s belief in him could see an altogether different scenario emerging in defence that nobody expected at the start of the window.
“I’ve said many times before that I just want to play,” he told MUTV.
“If you see what everyone can add to the team, then it’s a real battle for places and everyone had to fight for a position.
“I got a chance on this occasion and I tried my best. Of course, people always say I don’t have the height or the power but I think I’m clever enough and smart enough.”
Blind managed to keep out Harry Kane, one of the Premier League’s top strikers based on last year’s form, thanks to help from the rest of the defence and debutant keeper Sergio Romero.
He added: “If you see our opponent today, he’s very good; he wins a lot of headers and duels in the striking position so it’s not only about power and force. I think we did well at the back, together with Chris, Luke [Shaw] and Matteo [Darmian] and we get a clean sheet so I was happy.”
The Dutchman’s willingness to play wherever on the pitch shows he has exactly the right sort of attitude to play for United but whether he is good enough in such a wide variety of roles is up for debate.
John O’Shea was the perfect jack-of-all-trades but and Blind has shown he is adept at both left-back and defensive midfield but becoming a centre-back might be a step too far for him. the title, and an inexperienced centre-back could lead to just that.
With the likes of Otamendi having been linked with United throughout the summer, most fans feel it would be wise to draft in an experienced defender to support any potential title-charge.
What do you think, should Blind be given the chance to impress at centre-back, or should the club look to buy a ready-made central defender?