The next on our list of player season reviews is Daley Blind. The player that came to Manchester United during Louis van Gaal’s reign had a season to forget this time around and his departure seems imminent. This was his fourth season for the Devils and it was by far the worst one, which is a trend that was kind of expected.
What do the numbers say?
Daley Blind made a mere 17 appearances throughout the season. Manchester United played around 55 matches this campaign and that fact alone tells enough of a good story how poor this season has been for the Dutch left-back. He made six starts in the Champions League, which was the designated competition for Jose Mourinho to use as many as possible players that did not get enough playin time in the Premier League.
In the league, Blind only got 361 minutes in seven appearances, while he also played on four occasions in the two domestic cups. He did, however, record one goal and one assist, which both occurred in Champions League. The goal came against Benfica in late October, but since then Blind only played seven more times, four of those coming in 2018. That is appalling for the player himself, but he has been going on a downward trajectory in recent seasons.
In his first season at the club, Blind made 25 league appearances, increasing that number in 2015-16 to 41, including the Champions League football. That was his peak at the club, as the numbers started to go down and his displays backed that up as well. In 2016-17, in Mourinho’s first campaign, Blind got 34 appearances, though just 20 starts in Premier League. This season saw him behind Ashley Young and Luke Shaw in the pecking order.
Was he an important player for the club?
No, he was definitely not. Playing 361 minutes in Premier League is basically four full matches and in that kind of situation, it is only natural to say he was not up to the standards of the team. It is interesting that Blind played by far the least amount of matches exactly in the best season of Manchester United since he is part of the club. That only proves that Van Gaal’s decision to buy him was more of a search for a player that is known to the manager, rather than a player that can really be an important part of runners-up in the Premier League.
Blind was so far from the starting XI that he played less minutes in Champions League and Premier League combined than he did in Europa League last season. That is a big deal and it is obvious he is close to leaving the Devils this summer.
Projection for the 2018-19 season
Daley Blind will leave Manchester United this summer. There is no reason for him to stay and there is no reason for the club to keep him in Manchester, as the club is evolving and trying to get where it was five years ago. Blind is 28 and he can still play at a good European team, but Manchester United are too big of a task.