The versatile Dutch international was deployed in a variety different positions following his move from Ajax last summer and finished the season playing at left-back after highly-rated youngster Luke Shaw picked up a injury against Crystal Palace.
With United struggling for natural left-sided options at centre-back in pre-season as Marcos Rojo is still on holiday following his exploits with Argentina at the Copa America tournament this summer, Blind was asked to fill in against Club America at the weekend and his performance has drawn praise from van Gaal:
“I want to play always with a left-footed central defender and he [Blind] can do the job,” van Gaal said [via Metro Sport].
“In Rojo and Blind, we have two players who can play there so maybe he shall play.”
“Last year I played with Jones and Smalling in that position. Even McNair has played there but my preference is always a left-footed central defender,” van Gaal added.
Should Blind be converted into a centre-back for the upcoming season then it’s likely to save van Gaal some money in the transfer market as he has been linked with a number of defenders since the start of the summer but has not been able to secure any of his transfer targets just yet.
Borussia Dortmund captain Mats Hummels was the first to reject a move to Old Trafford as he committed his future to the Bundesliga outfit towards the end of last season [via Manchester Evening News].
Following that rejection from the German international van Gaal has seemingly turned his attentions to landing a defender from La Liga as Sergio Ramos and Nicolas Otamendi from Real Madrid and Valencia respectively have emerged as genuine transfer targets for the Red Devils boss.
A switch for Ramos has been placed in doubt following him being appointed as Los Blancos’ new club captain following the departure of legendary goalkeeper Iker Casillas to Porto [via Independent Sport] and despite United launching a £28.6million bid for the Spanish defender [via Sky Sports] it appears the chances of him moving to England are slim unless David De Gea is involved in any potential deal [via BBC Sport].
Meanwhile Otamendi seems to the most likely arrival of the two after he reportedly is willing to go on strike in order to push through a move to Old Trafford [via Independent Sport].
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United have already strengthened their squad with four new players and with still over a month to go until the transfer window closes, it would be a surprise if another defender and striker don’t arrive.