In a series of articles starting this week leading up to the transfer window – I would be writing a piece every week listing down the players that Jose Mourinho is going to consider selling in the Summer – while arguing for or against each individual case. This week, let us talk about the 28-year old Dutch International Daley Blind.
As Zlatan Ibrahimovic bid adieu to Manchester United after a memorable first season, Manchester United braced for a Summer where there could be as many outs as there will be ins, perhaps more out the door, if Mourinho had his way, what with his propensity to work with small squads and minimum rotation.
With the retirement of 36-year old Michael Carrick, Manchester United have already lost a considerable amount of character in the dressing room and experience – title-winning big-game experience that takes years to accumulate.
In what will be his fifth transfer window at Manchester United where access to a transfer kitty that could compete with almost every side in Europe and a player pool admittedly small, Mourinho has indeed a daunting task of finding the right balance in his squad for 2018/19 and beyond.
Getting rid of the players who would be of little use to the Portuguese going forward is as much a crucial phase in building a squad, one that can mount a title challenge, as bringing in new faces is. And Jose Mourinho has quite a few players in a 30-member strong first team squad that would and should ultimately face the cull for ‘his’ squad to take shape and begin to really move forward as a unit on the pitch.
In that regard, these are the three players that I think, the Portuguese taskmaster would willingly offload in bid to raise funds, not that it is necessary, but more precisely, make room for the right type of individuals – who can perform at the highest level without wilting under the demands of the manager to walk in and fill the glaring gaps that continue to exist in the squad.
Now, according to Sky Sports, the Dutch 28-year old has signed an extension at Manchester United which would technically keep him at the club until the Summer of 2019. But from the amount of game time he has been given this season, which in many cases – and in particular Mourinho’s case – directly translates to the amount of faith he has in the player, we could safely say that the contract extension, if true, is a mere financial tool to command a better price in the summer from suitors in England and abroad.
Blind has played only 274 minutes in the league this season – that’s a mere 3 starts and 2 substitute appearances. While it is difficult to assess his performance over the course of a season for obvious reasons, it is rather easy to imagine why the Portuguese did not take to the Dutchman at any point in his stint and somehow it is not Blind’s fault at all. The 28-year old – the typical Jack-of-all-trades-Master-of-none footballer is everything Mourinho does not see a value in.
Not to mention, Blind’s innate lack of aggression for a central defender and blinding pace for a fullback, suggests he may not be the kind who would run through brick walls for the team as Mourinho has described Phil Jones would – for him – for instance, makes it difficult to argue for him.
With another 12 months added to his contract, Mourinho can expect to recoup at least the amount they bought the player from Ajax for, which would mean a fiscal success, at the least.