Daley Blind

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Blind returns to Ajax after heart diagnosis

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Daley Blind has returned to Ajax training nearly two months after being diagnosed with a heart condition.

The 29-year-old Dutch international suffered from dizziness in the Champions League loss to Valencia on December 10, and was diagnosed soon after with “heart muscle inflammation.” He has been absent from the team ever since, but will return for the Eredivisie match this weekend against FC Utrecht, the club confirmed.

[ MORE: Hasenhuttl close to Southampton extension ]

Blind was fitted with an internal defibrillator that will help regulate abnormal heart rhythms.

Ajax supporters held up a banner during the home match against ADO Den Haag on December 22 that read “Daley Blind strength.”

Blind also got a show of support from his former teammate on social media as Marcus Rashford showed his love for the Dutch defender. Blind was a member of Manchester United from 2014-2018 where he made 141 appearances across all competitions.

Blind is a versatile player who has played center-back for much of his career, including much of this season, but has also been deployed as a full-back or defensive midfielder at times. He is an active member of the Dutch national team where he plays primarily left-back thanks to Virgil Van Dijk and Matthijs de Ligt locking down the first-choice center-back positions.

Ajax’s Daley Blind has heart surgery

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Ajax and Netherlands star Daley Blind has undergone successful heart surgery after he was diagnosed with heart muscle inflammation.

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Blind, 29, felt dizzy Ajax’s defeat to Valencia 10 days ago and has been undergoing medical examinations ever since.

Th Dutch giants revealed details on Blind’s condition in a statement released on Saturday, as he is now recovering from the operation.

“Daley Blind has been diagnosed with heart muscle inflammation. The central defender has undergone extensive medical examination in recent days, following the dizziness that briefly bothered him during the Ajax – Valencia match. It was then decided to place a subcutaneous ICD with Blind, a device that is applied under the skin.

“As a result of this intervention, which took place yesterday, the 29-year-old international will not start the training camp selection at the beginning of January, but will continue to work on his recovery in Amsterdam.”

Blind to leave Man United, return to Ajax

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Daley Blind will leave Manchester United this summer and return to Ajax, the club from which the Red Devils signed him in 2014, per a brief and open-ended announcement from the Premier League side on Monday.

[ MORE: Thierry Henry leaves TV job to focus on managerial career ]

The 28-year-old Dutch defender/midfielder was previously an every-game player at Man United, from 2014-2016, but he was limited to just seven PL appearances (four starts) and 361 minutes (plus another six starts and 540 minutes in the UEFA Champions League) last season.

While the final details of Blind’s move are yet to be announced, it has been reported that United will receive a fee in the neighborhood of $18.5 million after paying $18 million for his services following the last World Cup.

Report: Daley Blind departs Manchester United, returns to Ajax

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According to Dutch media giant De Telegraaf, Manchester United defender Daley Blind has departed Old Trafford and returned to Ajax. De Telegraaf journalist Mike Verweij reports that Blind has signed a four-year deal with the Dutch club and could cost Ajax up to $24.5 million, with $18.7 million guaranteed.

Blind is a product of the famed Ajax youth system, and played for the senior side for four years before moving to Manchester United in the summer of 2014 and became an immediate starter under Dutch manager Louis Van Gaal. He made 141 appearances for the Red Devils across all competitions, with his versatility allowing him to play at center-back, left-back, or at defensive midfielder.

However, Blind’s role began to decline in the latter stages of 2015 with the arrival of Jose Mourinho, and played sparingly in the 2016/17 and 2017/18 seasons. After peaking with 35 appearances in the 2015/16 Premier League season, the 28-year-old made 23 appearances in the 2016/17 season with 20 starts, and then slumped to just seven total Premier League appearances last campaign as Manchester United finished a distant second behind Manchester City in the table.

Ajax has predominantly been a selling club in the past, looking to capitalize off its prolific youth system. However, this summer they have proven contenders in the transfer market, with Blind the club’s fourth signing after Southampton star Dusan Tadic, young Burkina Faso winger Hassane Bande, and former Fulham midfielder Zakaria Labyad. They have balanced that out somewhat with the departure of another talented youngster in 19-year-old Justin Kluivert to AS Roma.

Blind’s transfer fee makes him the incoming transfer record for Ajax, topping then-19-year-old Miralem Sulijmani back in 2008.

Man United charged by UEFA for breaching anti-doping rules

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Two of Manchester United’s players have been sanctioned by UEFA for breaching anti-doping rules following their Europa League final win against Ajax in Stockholm, Sweden back in May.

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Phil Jones has been banned two games and fined $5,875, while Daley Blind has been fined $5,875.

Jones was charged with “insulting and directing abusive language towards the Doping Control Officer” and failing to cooperate with the procedure. Blind is charged with non-compliance as UEFA stated he did not go “immediately to the doping control station as notified.”

United were also fined $11,751, with Jones banned for two European games which includes the UEFA Super Cup against Real Madrid on Aug. 8 in Skopje, plus their UEFA Champions League group stage opener. Blind did not receive a suspension.

Of course, anti-doping measures are serious in soccer, as they are in any sport, but the fact that Jones and Blind may not have had this on their mind right away is probably because they just finished a grueling, testing season by winning the Europa League and qualifying for the Champions League.

Jones and Blind probably just wanted to celebrate with their fans in Stockholm, but UEFA isn’t having any of it and rules are rules.

Below is the statement from UEFA in full, with United able to appeal their decision.

The club has been charged for infringements of the UEFA Anti-Doping Regulations (ADR) concerning the doping control procedure. In particular, according to Appendix B (17) of the afore-mentioned regulations, “the teams are responsible for ensuring that the players drawn to undergo doping controls are taken by the respective team representatives to the doping control station straight from the pitch as soon as the match is over. This applies even when chaperones are appointed by UEFA”.

• The player Philip Jones has been charged for insulting and directing abusive language towards the Doping Control Officer (Article 15 (1) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations), as well as for a lack of cooperation and respect towards the doping control procedure (Article 6.05 ADR).

• The player Daley Blind has been charged for violation and non-compliance with Article 6.05 (a) of the UEFA Anti-Doping Regulations, which states that “every player designated to undergo as doping control is personally responsible for reporting immediately to the doping control station as notified”.