Various reports this week are linking Manchester United with ‘the new Roy Keane’ – Kevin Strootman. Never heard of him? Not to worry, here is everything you need to know about Holland’s latest sensation…
Well, firstly he isn’t the new Roy Keane. Strootman is a traditional box-to-box midfielder, but he has been converted into that role. He was originally an attack-minded player and has honed his defensive skills in order to offer much more on the pitch.
The similarity to Keane, is in their mental approach. Despite only being 22, Strootman has already been sounded out as a possible PSV Eindhoven and Dutch national captain. His winning mentality is as good an attribute as any of his others – and there are a few others.
The 22-year-old possesses fantastic vision and awareness. His calmness in the tight midfield area allows him to pick accurate, as well as, subtle passes in abundance. He can run with the ball too. If needs be he will burst out of midfield with the ball and usually lay it on for a team-mate to score.
He also has a ferocious left-foot, which can be seen smashing in screamers all over YouTube.
After beginning his career with Sparta Rotterdam, Strootman moved to PSV last summer, amid interest from other clubs including Tottenham. At PSV he has changed his style somewhat.
At 6″1, the midfielder is comfortable with the physical side of the game and has used that to his advantage, became an all-round midfielder. An all-round midfielder who has kept Nigel de Jong out of the national team for ten of the last 11 games.
Another thing that stands out is his intelligence, both with and without the ball. And it is this intelligence, combined with his skill, which has made him first-choice for a Holland team looking to overhaul Spain as the world’s best.
It has also seen Manchester United scouts travel to Holland on 12 occasions this season, with a reported £15million bid in offing.
United definitely need a midfielder or two, and the fact that Strootman has so many facets to his game, might just give him the edge over someone like Tiote, who has also been linked to Old Trafford.
Sir Alex Ferguson, usually likes to get his summer transfer deals done early, especially with a big tournament coming up. The United manager will not allow Strootman’s price to potentially rocket and a £15million deal is reportedly close.
I am quite excited by the prospect of Strootman at Old Trafford. It will allow Scholes to return to his retirement (despite being very good since January) and create added competition for places. I think the Dutchman will give United a new dimension. They have few centre-midfielders who can run with the ball, and make late runs into the box.
Strootman can provide that kind of thing, as well as being a ball-winner. If he doesn’t go to United, I expect a lot of clubs to be interested in him after the European Championships, and if he does arrive in Manchester, those same clubs will be kicking themselves.
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