Football

Kevin Strootman set to seal Roma move

Manchester United miss out on Dutch ace (©GettyImages)
Manchester United miss out on Dutch ace (©GettyImages).

Kevin Strootman's move to AS Roma from Dutch side PSV Eindhoven is set to be completed imminently with the Netherlands international due to arrive in the Italian capital ahead of a medical. 

Strootman, who made 32 appearances in the Eredivisie last season contributing five goals over the course of the League season, will cost Roma a fee that is believed to be close to 20million euros.

Strootman had reportedly been a long term target for Manchester United and more recently Napoli however the midfielder has agreed to join Roma on a four-year contract with Rudi Garcia potentially preparing to shape a midfield without Daniele De Rossi - who is reportedly close to a move to Chelsea.

Strootman possesses significant power from midfield when on the ball and can be deployed very effectively as a box-to-box midfielder however, this does not quite fit into Garcia's 4-3-3 formation and will more than likely find himself positioned in the role Yohan Cabaye played for Lille under Garcia as the creative force in the Giallorossi midfield.

It is quite difficult to understand just why Napoli didn't manage to complete the deal for Strootman earlier this summer with last season's Serie A runners up hoping to complete a double swoop for both Dries Mertens and Strootman in a very similar timeframe. 

Rafael Benitez's team were unable to do that and little less than a month later the player has joined Italian rivals Roma, who unlike Napoli cannot offer Champions League football this season. 

With Roma's American owners it is suspected the capital club were in a position to offer Strootman a significantly higher wage packet than Napoli with the Dutchman rumoured to be earning around 2million euros a year as part of his contract with Roma.

Strootman has really enjoyed a breakthrough year in the 2012-2013 campaign with the former PSV midfielder cementing a regular place in Louis Van Gaal's Netherlands squad, even captaining the national side earlier in 2012. 

Strootman's become a significantly more rounded midfielder playing alongside Mark van Bommel with Strootman improving the defensive side of his midfield play notably over the past twelve months.

There is still however very much a concern regarding Strootman's ability to stamp his authority on matches with the Ridderkerk-born midfielder being guilty of disappearing in matches on several occasions in the 2012-2013 campaign. 

With Serie A boasting a far greater pool of individual quality than the Eredivisie and with Strootman expected to play a key part in Garcia's midfield three - this is an area Strootman will really have to address quickly if he wants to make a big impact on Roma's fortunes this season.

The safe bet for Strootman would have to stay in Eindhoven for one more season in order to secure his place in Van Gaal's squad for the World Cup in Brazil next summer however the move to Roma will certainly be a big challenge for him. 

Firstly he will have to adapt to a new footballing culture with Serie A known to be much more considered in terms of tempo with tactics, playing a more important role than physical prowess and secondly and perhaps more importantly for his World Cup hopes he will have to secure a place in Roma's starting 11.

Should De Rossi stay with the club, Garcia will have a number of options at his disposal with Michael Bradley, Miralem Pjanic and even Erik Lamela having the potential to play as part of a central midfield three as well as the addition of Strootman. 

This will certainly improve the strength in depth and balance of squad Roma had at their disposal last season with the club's American hierarchy desperately wanting a return to the Champions League. 

With the expected income from the sale of Marquinhos to either Paris Saint-Germain or Barcelona there is also very little worry with regards to AS Roma's net spend this summer.

With Strootman expected to be in Italy this evening as previously mentioned, the Dutchman is expected to complete a medical tomorrow alongside contractual formalities before being officially presented as a Roma player.

 

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Kevin Strootman

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