According to Ajax manager Frank de Boer, Manchester United summer signing Daley Blind would prefer to play in central midfield for the Red Devils, despite having starred under Louis van Gaal as a left wing-back at the World Cup.
De Boer is quoted by ESPN as saying:
"He started as a full-back but I think now he prefers to be a controlling midfielder. I think he'll have two or three options [at United] -- either at wing-back or on the left in a central midfield pairing."
Given United's big issues in central midfield at the moment, it's looking increasingly likely that Van Gaal will grant Blind his wish. Darren Fletcher has been poor since the start of the season, and a trio of Daley Blind, Ander Herrera and Ángel Di María seems the most likely central combination, should Van Gaal stick with a 3-5-2.
However, according to De Boer, we shouldn't be immediately expecting great things from Blind:
"For Daley it's a great transfer. He's been playing for Ajax since he was 10 years old, and now he can hopefully show his qualities at United. He'll have to get used to the rhythm of the league first, but he's a really quick thinker and nowadays that's very important."
It's clearly Blind's footballing intelligence that has enabled him to play in a variety of positions throughout his career. It's the way he is able to read the game that allows him to play as a anchorman, rather than the brute strength of other defensive midfielders.
Will this still stack up in the more physical Premier League, against powerhouses like Yaya Touré? Well, there's only one way to find out ...