Daley Blind is an intelligent and technically-astute Netherlands international who has proven his quality at Manchester United, since joining the club from AFC Ajax in August 2014.
The son of Holland legend Danny Blind, his tutelage came from the Dutch club’s hugely respected youth academy, from which he graduated with a reputation as one of his country's brightest talents, signing his first professional terms with his hometown club at the tender age of 17.
A professional debut against FC Volendam arrived in 2008 and the versatile youngster, determined to continue his development, then spent a half-season loan spell at Eredivisie side Groningen to gain valuable experience. It was to be a crucial step in Blind’s upward trajectory, with the youngster returning to Amsterdam and establishing himself as an important squad member under manager Frank de Boer, who impressively led the Dutch giants to four league titles in a row.
International recognition inevitably came in tandem as Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal rewarded Daley’s superb showings, firstly with a debut against Italy in February 2013 and later with a place in the 2014 World Cup squad. At that competition in Brazil, Blind excelled and memorably set up Robin van Persie’s flying header during the 5-1 hammering of reigning champions Spain.
A transfer to United was completed later that summer following van Gaal’s appointment as manager and Blind caught the eye throughout his debut season, demonstrating his versatility and tactical nous over 29 appearances. In 2015/16, he played more games than any of his team-mates (56), helped the Reds keep 25 clean sheets in all competitions and lifted the FA Cup at Wembley.
The Dutchman was another outstanding performer during 2016/17, adding more medals to his collection via the FA Community Shield, League Cup and UEFA Europa League, notably producing an excellent performance when defeating his former club Ajax at the Friends Arena in Stockholm.
The following campaign was much more frustrating for Blind however, as injury limited him to just 17 appearances in a red shirt.