Things have gone from bad to worse in injury news for Louis van Gaal as he may have lost his midfield rock Daley Blind for at least a month and possibly longer.
Blind limped off in the 19th minute in the Netherlands’ 6-0 win over Latvia in Euro 2016 qualification after taking the full brunt of a nasty challenge. According to Dutch channel NOS, the 24-year-old may have torn knee ligaments, and he could be out a month or longer.
That would mean his ACL is, at least according to the early reports, intact, although the other ligaments clearly haven’t fared so well.
Blind has been one of the best passers in the Premier League, and in his first half-season in the Premier League, he’s proven worth his $15 million price tag this summer from Ajax. Van Gaal has used Blind mostly in the defensive midfield distribution role, and he’s completed 90% of his 581 attempted passes.
Now, along with his defensive injury crisis, he’ll have an issue in the midfield as well. With Blind out as well as Phil Jones, van Gaal may be forced to put Michael Carrick in the hole, or slide Marouane Fellaini over to play by himself.
Blind and Fellaini had developed a bit of a partnership back in the deep midfield, with the two allowing each other to venture forward while also providing defensive cover to the ravaged back line that is missing Jones along with Marcos Rojo, Chris Smalling, Jonny Evans, and Rafael. Van Gaal had moved Fellaini back next to Blind after teams began to gameplan specifically to attack the Dutchman and isolate him, and the move seemed to work.
In addition to injuries at the back, Manchester United has had to weather those to attackers Radamel Falcao and Ashley Young and will be sweating a dislocated finger for David de Gea suffered on international duty as well.