Daley Blind is very happy with how his career at Manchester United has gone so far but has downplayed any hint of premature comparisons with Roy Keane.
The Dutch midfielder has been a revelation since joining from Ajax in the summer because he has brought a real edge to United’s midfield it had lacked for so many years.
Keane has never fully been replaced since leaving United in 2005 but despite his good start at the club, Blind has distanced himself from any comparison: “Let’s not go overboard. It’s going quite well, but we’ve only just started,” he said.
“I can say I have settled in quite well. In England it is not very usual to start the build-up from behind. United do.
“This is where my Ajax background becomes useful. Starting the build-up there is our second nature.”
In many respects, Blind will never replaced Keane because they are intrinsically very different players but he has been touted as a future leader and, potentially, captain of United.
Blind has a very different style to Keane and is less aggressive, he prefers to read the game and make an interception than get stuck in shoulder to shoulder like Keane used to love doing. Both are effective in their own right.
Comparisons are inevitable in football and while Blind may not be Keane’s true successor (will anybody ever be?), we firmly believe he’ll be United’s most important signing this season.