Daley Blind enjoying centre-back partnership with Chris Smalling: “He’s a great player”

by Sid Choudhary

Manchester United defender Daley Blind is relishing the chance to play alongside Chris Smalling in the middle of the Reds’ back four.

The Dutchman has started all six of Man United’s games this season at left centre-back, a position which many felt would not suit him.

Blind played at left-back as well as in the centre of midfield of United last year, after signing from Ajax the previous summer. There have been many doubters over the 25-year-old’s position this campaign but, with only three goals conceded, he is beginning to prove himself.

However, it is not the first time he has played at centre-back. Speaking to MUTV, Blind said: “I played there in the Ajax youth team. I’m happy that Ajax’s academy allowed me to play in different positions and to improve to become the player that I am now.”

Blind has been partnered by Smalling at the back this season and the Englishman has got off to a flier. Smalling has been hugely impressive for United this year and Blind is evidently taking away a lot from being at such close quarters to his colleague on the pitch.

He added: “I try to do my best and I have the faith of the manager, which gives me a lot of confidence. It is good to play there alongside Chris Smalling. He is great next to me, he is a great player. He’s different to me, I do it my own way, but I can learn a lot from Chris.”

While United have struggled for goals this season, with only three in the league so far, the defence have been the shining light. Blind has performed admirably in an unfamiliar position and with Matteo Darmian and Luke Shaw also excelling, the future for United’s back four looks promising.

Despite an underwhelming performance against Swansea, when United lost 2-1, Blind’s role in the back four has been crucial. With Marcos Rojo trying to prove his fitness and stake a claim for the same position Blind is in, the Dutchman will certainly have his work cut out for him.

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