Daley Blind believes he has come on leaps and bounds in Manchester United’s central defence this season and has backed team-mate Memphis Depay to continue his recent good form.
After operating mainly as a full-back or midfielder during this time at Old Trafford, the Dutchman has struck up a good partnership with Chris Smalling at centre-back this season.
With Smalling missing through injury, Blind played alongside Michael Carrick in the recent victories over Arsenal and Midtjylland and again impressed in an unfamiliar position.
“I feel good in that position at the moment,” he told United Review. “I’ve had some nice games with Chris Smalling, of course, and Michael Carrick, who played there against Midtjylland, is the same particular type of player as I am. I’ve improved a lot this season in the centre.
“I have shown it’s not only about strength but also about quick thinking and being in the right position. I think I did well. I try also to look forward. It’s not always possible, of course, but I know my job and that’s why I’m in the middle as well, to play balls into the midfielders and then play from there.
“It’s about helping the build-up of the game and that’s one of my strengths. I need to bring that to the team and that is my job.”
Blind’s international team-mate Depay has had a tough start to life at Old Trafford, but the 25-year-old thinks some players just need time to settle into the Premier League.
“I think it’s personal in terms of how much time you need to adapt as a player,” replied the defender. “Each player is different. I hope he is doing well in the next games and continuing to show the same form.
“I think the [Midtjylland] right full-back wasn’t happy that night! Like I said after the game, he [Memphis] works so hard and I know how badly he wants it and how much he wants to show himself.
“I think he is improving a lot. He’s a great player and a great person as well. He works very hard so I was extremely happy for him.”