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Daley Blind determined to fight for his place and impress Jose Mourinho

Manchester United midfielder Daley Blind has spoken about his future at the Old Trafford club after the arrival of Jose Mourinho after Louis van Gaal left the club days after winning the Emirates FA Cup. The Dutchman has been suggested to be one of the casualties that may find themselves looking for a new club this summer with Mourinho looking to create his own team at the Theatre of Dreams. Juan Mata, who was sold by Mourinho whilst managing Chelsea in January 2014 was the other casualty, according to various sources anyway. Despite the reports, Blind is looking to fight for his place in the team putting himself in Mourinho’s plans for the future. The Dutchman only arrived at the club in the summer of 2014, signing from Ajax for £14 million. His first season at the club saw him playing well in a holding midfield role, replacing the injured Michael Carrick on the team. His second season saw him fill in on the left side of the defence, forming a good partnership with Chris Smalling. Speaking to the official Manchester United website, Blind said:

“I’ve met Jose several times but don’t know him personally. 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.”

Last season in the Premier League, Blind made 35 appearances over the 38 matches played, scoring one goal, with a shot accuracy of 100%, scoring from his only shot on goal. Blind created 25 chances for his team-mates, showing his match reading ability and the ability to put in a good pass, like he did for the Netherlands in the FIFA World Cup in 2014, putting that sublime pass into the rushing Robin van Persie who scored a diving header against Spain in the group stages of the tournament. Last season in the Premier League, Blind had a pass completion of 84%, with his average passing distance being 22 metres. He averaged six defensive actions per match – making four defensive errors during the league season. Blind may not be the household name many want to see in the centre of defence, but he gave the new manager a case to make a decision on his future at the club. Blind continued by saying:

“I think I’ve shown I can defend as well as a [natural] central defender in the Premier League.

“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.”

Last season, United kept 18 clean sheets in the league alone, 16 of those by David De Gea, two by Sergio Romero, who started the season as the number one goalkeeper with De Gea’s move to Real Madrid playing out for the first few weeks, before falling through. United also conceded the fewest goals in the league last season, 35 which was the same as Tottenham Hotspur, they conceded five in the final match of the season being shamed by the relegated Newcastle United. It shows that Blind and Smalling, with De Gea, and even Romero behind them, have worked well to stop United from conceding. That would suggest that Blind, along with Smalling could go on and fortify United’s defence for next season too, dependent on what Mourinho has in his plans regarding a new central defender. Daley Blind deserves to remain at United, he seems to offer a lot more than the likes of Phil Jones, who has been injury prone since his first season at the club, with last season being his worst ever season – even looking out-of-place when playing for the U21’s in a bid to pick up his match fitness. Jose Mourinho is the only one so far who knows which players are in is plans of not, but personally, I believe Blind should be in the squad based on what he can add to it.

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