Nick van Ruiven profiles the rise of Daley Blind from Ajax boo boy to Dutch player of the year and Netherlands favourite.

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daley blindNot too long ago Ajax fans were booing every time Daley Blind entered the field of play but the youngster has clearly picked himself up and silenced his critics in great fashion.

Daley Blind (23) followed in his father Danny’s footsteps, as he graduated from the club’s academy and forced his way into the first team. This process was full of difficulties for Daley as some fans reckoned he only got that chance because he was the son of then technical director Danny Blind and as his performances were not up to the required standard the boos began.

Daley dusted himself down, went out on loan to FC Groningen and when he came back Martin Jol (manager at that time) still deemed him surplus to requirements.  As Jol left and De Boer stepped in, new hope arose for the youngster.

At first De Boer would play him at left-back.  In this position he would find himself a little too exposed at times and for that reason De Boer moved him into a holding midfield position. This role proved more suitable for Blind. In case of emergency (i.e. injuries to Nicolai Boilesen) Blind would still play at left-back now and again and as the games went by it was clear to see that he grew into that role as well.

He did so well at left-back that Holland boss Louis van Gaal tried him in that position for Oranje. With the World Cup just around the corner this was a shrewd move by Van Gaal as he was struggling to find a suitable player for that position. Blind seems to fill that bill perfectly.

So, what does this story tell us about Daley Blind? Not only is he a versatile player, but he also possesses a great resilience and determination to prove people wrong. Many of the Ajax fans once booing him are now keen to sing their praises of him after he played a huge part in the club’s hunt for four back to back league titles.

Daley has everything to could make him another Ajax legend, just like his father.

Nick Van Ruiven (37 Posts)