Dutch star’s sparkling display sets Spurs and Man Utd hearts racing
If there’s one thing the Netherlands do well, it’s pair sumptuous long balls with equally stunning finishes.
Robin van Persie’s flying header from Daley Blind’s raking pass brought to mind Dennis Bergkamp’s genius against Argentina in 1998 and put the Oranje on their way to a stunning 5-1 rout of world champions Spain.
Van Persie later added his second to make it 4-1, a goal that brought his odds to be top scorer in Brazil down to a tempting 6/1.
Louis van Gaal is no doubt salivating at the prospect of meeting up with his Dutch captain at Manchester United next season, and there is speculation that he might also try to reunite Van Persie with Blind in the Premier League.
The 24-year-old can play at left-back or in midfield and was chosen as the Dutch Footballer of the Year for his performances at Ajax last season.
Tottenham Hotspur are another Premier League side who have been linked with Blind, and both Spurs and United will surely step up their interest after his superb performance against Spain.
As well as providing the cross for Van Persie’s equaliser, Blind put in an almost equally impressive pass for Arjen Robben’s first goal. The wing-back made four key passes in total, more than anyone else on the pitch.
Playing as a wing-back in Van Gaal’s 5-3-2 system reduced Blind’s defensive responsibility, but he chipped in with two tackles and two interceptions to help keep a shell-shocked Spain at bay.
Spurs’ need for a new left-back is obvious after Danny Rose’s poor season, while United could use Blind in either of the two roles he has played for club and country.
At left-back, the Dutchman could be a savvy alternative to the incredibly expensive Luke Shaw, while his ability to recycle position and protect the back four in a deep midfield role is something Van Gaal would surely appreciate as well.
However, after his excellent World Cup debut, the two Premier League sides might face plenty of competition for Blind’s signature this summer.
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