Tuesday 17 July 2018

Blind completes Ajax transfer after four seasons in Red

Daley Blind has completed a £14m move from United back to his hometown team AFC Ajax after four years at Old Trafford. The versatile, dependable and technically gifted Dutchman - capped 54 times by his country - re-joins the club he signed for United from in 2014. The fee could eventually rise to the region of £18m, meaning that United will have suffered  a £5m deficit on the player.

Having started his Reds career primarily as a defensive midfielder or left-back, Blind became first choice centre-half as a key man in 2015-16, where he struck up an unlikely brains-and-brawn partnership with Chris (or should that be Mike) Smalling during the 2015-16 season, Louis van Gaal's ill-fated second, and last, campaign in charge. A regular under his compatriot, Blind has slipped down the pecking order since Jose Mourinho's arrival at the club, and played in a paltry seven Premier League ties last term, only 17 times in total throughout United's 56-match campaign.  Blind does not fit the mould of the typical Mourinho identikit, and his lack of regular first-team playing time has undoubtedly contributed to his departure back to his native Netherlands. He played 141 times for the Reds and scored six goals for us  - a useful, dependable and multifunctional utility player quicker in mind than body, but nothing more. That describes Blind to a 'T'. 

 There are two standout moments from his time at United - the Europa League win against his then former, and now current, club Ajax in the Europa League final on that emotional night in Stockholm in May last year - one of four trophies he won whilst at the club - and his well-taken goal against Liverpool in a 3-1 win at Old Trafford in 2015.

Blind made the move to Old Trafford having been one of the unsung heroes of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, famously supplying Robin van Persie's diving and laser guided header in a 5-1 win over holders Spain. Under LVG, Blind's Netherlands team finished third in that tournament, which paved the way for van Gaal to take over at Old Trafford and he made Blind the first post David Moyes signing.
Following the announcement of his transfer, Blind posted a lengthy statement on Twitter, in which he thanked everyone connected to United for supporting him, expressing how proud he has been to play for this great club. He becomes the club's first outgoing transfer of the summer.

Everyone at United would like to wish Daley all the best for the future.

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