Manchester United’s Daley Blind has insisted he is looking forward to the opportunity of working under Jose Mourinho next season.
There had been reports this week that Mourinho was happy to sell Blind, along with Juan Mata, as he was not pleased with the Dutchman’s physical attributes as a central defender.
But Blind claimed that he is capable of forcing his way into the thinking of the new manager, a man he previously faced while playing for former club Ajax.
“I’ve met Jose several times but don’t know him personally,” Blind said.
“For example, I played for Ajax against Real Madrid when he was the coach of Madrid, so I saw him then. I think he’s a coach who’s achieved a lot and I’m very excited to work with someone like him. I’m going do my best and work very hard.”
Blind also insisted that he can do a job at the back for United following an impressive 2015/16 campaign in terms of the defensive side of things.
“I think I’ve shown I can defend as well as a [natural] central defender in the Premier League,” he added.
“If you look at our defending statistics at United, we had the most clean sheets and conceded the fewest goals in the Premier League [35, joint with Tottenham]. That’s something we can be proud of. I played almost every game and that gives me a good feeling.”
Blind did perform admirably last season but there was always a sense that he was not quite of the level expected of a top United centre-back, particularly when supporters have seen the likes of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand occupy the position down the years. Quite often, the brilliance of David de Gea bailed Blind out when he made a mistake.
Mourinho is known to be a big advocate of defensive organisation and it is unclear whether there is a role for Blind at the back. But, in any case, he is a versatile player who will be useful to have around the squad.