Daley Blind is the archetypal example of the kind of player we'd have expected José Mourinho to ship out at the first opportunity. The versatile Dutchman lacks the strength and athleticism of a traditional defender, and when it comes to defending, Mourinho’s certainly a traditionalist. However, Blind survived two transfer windows, and went on to start at centre-back in the Europa League triumph over his former club Ajax. Not too shabby.
It’s true that Blind’s role has been somewhat diminished this season. He started all but three Premier League games under Louis van Gaal last year, and only 20 this time around. But Mourinho clearly sees Blind as a very capable rotation option, and all evidence suggests he’s right. He'll never be good enough to start regularly for a team with designs on the league title, but the fact he can competently play in three different positions means he’s more than worth keeping around the place.
Blind is now 27, though all signs suggest he’s more than happy with his rotation role at Old Trafford. He's now made over a century of appearances for the club, and when recently questioned on his future by the Mirror, replied: "Which player would not want to stay at Manchester United?" Blind’s still got another year on his contract, and United have the option to extend by a further season. We’d be surprised if he didn’t stick around for a while longer.
José Mourinho approval rating: A firm pat on the back.