Daley Blind has revealed that he had the opportunity to join Arsenal when he was a teenager, but instead opted to stay with Ajax. Daley joined Ajax when he was eight, following in the footsteps of his father Danny, who was Louis van Gaal’s captain at the club in the 1990s.
Blind won the league title in his final four consecutive seasons at Ajax, before being named Dutch Footballer of the Year in the summer he left for United.
I had the chance to move to London at a young age. I was in the Ajax academy and one day I came home from school. My mum and dad said to me: ‘Arsenal have called today. They want you.’I thought they were taking the mickey. It was my dream to be a player in the first team of Ajax but we went to Arsenal. We were there for a day. It was great. They offered to sort out everything for my schooling, so I could get my A levels. They also offered me an incredible contract, especially for a boy of my age. Ajax offered me a contract too at the same time. The money was nowhere near what I could earn at Arsenal. My dad left it up to me and I decided to stay at Ajax.I let a lot of money slip away then,” he said. “And I can understand why some players, whose families need the money, say yes to clubs of Arsenal’s size. I said no, partially because I was lucky to have everything I needed at home. The other reason I decided to say no, was that secretly I wanted to follow in the footsteps of my dad, Danny. He had been captain of Ajax, won every trophy in the world with them.