The Dutch international was recruited by Louis van Gaal last summer, moving from AFC Ajax in a £14 million deal [Telegraph]. The midfield star enjoyed an encouraging maiden campaign in the Premier League, making 25 appearances, scoring two goals and contributing two assists.
He also demonstrated his versatility, featuring in the heart of the midfield, at the base of the midfield, at centre-back, left-back and on the left wing.
Things could have been very different, however, with the Netherlands international admitting to Dutch magazine Helden [via Goal], that he almost joined Diego Simeone’s outfit in 2013.
“I could have signed for Atletico [in 2013] if I wanted to. But I would have not cost Atletico anything apart from my wages,” the 25-year-old began.
“They did not really have to make an investment to sign me. For me, that is always a bit of a disadvantage.”
The player went on to admit that he is happy to play in any position for United and serve the Red Devils as manager van Gaal sees fit.
“I already said many times I play where the manager needs me,” the player continued.
“Now he gives me the chance in this position and I try to do my best. I think it worked out good against Barcelona. I have played there before, so I know what is asked of me in that position.”
However, despite his versatility, it remains to be seen whether Blind will be affected by the incoming talent at Old Trafford this summer.
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Van Gaal has already brought two central midfielders—Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin—to the club who, along with Michael Carrick and Ander Herrera, would appear to block Blind’s route to the first team.
The ex-Ajax star could hope for game time at left-back, but Luke Shaw—who missed some of last season due to injury—will likely be LVG’s first choice in this position if fit.