After a protracted post-World Cup courtship, Manchester United have agreed a fee to sign Ajax’s Daley Blind for a fee believed to be in the region of £13.8m.
Having come through as a left-back for the Sons of Gods before graduating to a deep midfield role, he occasionally started at centre-half for the Netherlands in Brazil, making predicting where he’ll be used for United tricky.
Injuries have robbed United of deep-lying midfielders Ander Herrera and Michael Carrick so there is a case to suggest that he should reprise the role he played last season at Ajax.
Similarly, with Marcos Rojo manacled in transfer red tape and Luke Shaw injured, the side would benefit from a more natural left wing-back than Ashley Young.
However, for now he must play at centre-half for the Red Devils, who are 9/10 to finish in the Premier League top four this season.
Why? United will take time to adapt to Louis van Gaal’s 3-5-2/3-4-3 formation and while they do so, their first concern must be to stem the flow of opposition goals.
The Red Devils have shipped at least once in six of their eight matches under the Dutchman as the players he has inherited adapt to a new way of playing.
Blind is more at home in a defensive trio than the men he may soon call colleagues and positioning him alongside Phil Jones and Johnny Evans will give the incumbents confidence and an example to learn from as they adapt.
Van Gaal’s decision to use him as a defender against Spain at the World Cup suggests he has a greater appreciation of the 24-year-old as a defender too.
Nigel de Jong and Jonathan de Guzman were preferred for the two less-advanced spots in midfield against a side with one of the most celebrated midfield threes in recent memory.