Manchester United are now 4/5 favourites to stable Ajax’s Daley Blind come the end of the transfer window and he could prove the pivotal purchase of the summer at Old Trafford.
The spawn of legendary Sons of Gods and Netherlands centre-half Danny, Blind the younger came to Eredivisie prominence as a left-back.
Yet by last season he had accumulated enough brownie points in the eyes of Ajax boss Frank De Boer to graduate, a la Philipp Lahm, into a Sergio Busquets role at the base of the midfield three.
At the World Cup he operated variously as a center-half and a left wing-back under Louis van Gaal.
Steeped in not just the methods of the new United supremo, but the total football philosophy that underpins them, Blind’s assimilation into the team could facilitate United’s absorption of LvG’s methods from inside the machine.
A conduit for the Red Devils’ arrival under the total football philosophical umbrella that has long sheltered Cruyff-disciples Barcelona (and more Pep Guardiola’s Bayern Munchen), the 24-year-old’s versatility can also ease a period of transition on the United roster.
His positional flexibility means that he can shield Luke Shaw from the glare of the spotlight on occasion, while biding time as he waits to succeed Michael Carrick alongside Johnny Evans and Phil Jones in the defensive three.
As Blind exhibited at the World Cup in Brazil, he’s capable of exerting an attacking influence wherever he’s stationed, assisting three goals for teammates and netting once for his own scrapbook.
Ajax remain even money to retain their midfield fulcrum, while Barcelona are also quote in the three-way dance for his loyalty, albeit at a distant 4/1.