The dust has barely settled on the summer transfer window, but some are already glancing apprehensively towards the winter window. Manchester United have put their fans through the ringer in recent windows with mixed results, and that's unlikely to change when it all kicks off again in January.
Manchester United fans seem to be putting all their eggs in one basket in particular - Kevin Strootman. He may not be the biggest name in world football but he's the man Louis van Gaal wants to lead his midfield. Frankly at this point, the Old Trafford faithful will take anyone who can play in that particularly troublesome position.
But the fact is they may not know too much about him; in desperation we see what we want to, especially when it comes to big name signings. Is he really the solution that the Red Devils are looking for.
Firstly, it seems as though Van Gaal wants a dominant personality in the middle of the park. That's why he went after Arturo Vidal. When it became apparent that the Chilean wasn't coming to Old Trafford, then Strootman was always likely to be the next logical step - however his injury that kept him out of Van Gaal's World Cup squad put paid to any thoughts of a summer move.
When he is fit, he would seem to be a good fit. The 24-year-old has the right age and profile to be a success at Manchester United. Crucially, he also seems to have the right personality. His agent says he has 'the character' to play in the Premier League - something he will certainly need to deal with a Manchester United side trying to get back to their best. Of course knowing how Van Gaal likes football to be played will help him settle in and also help the former Barcelona boss implement his game plan more quickly.
In terms of his playing style he is unlike anything Manchester United can call upon. Indeed it perhaps quite telling that he shares a lot of similarities with Vidal. He's a tough tackler who gets around the pitch well but that isn't the only string to his bow; he can pass superbly and has a perceptive football brain. He would fit perfectly into a 4-3-3 which Van Gaal is said to be considering, which is similar to the system they play at Roma.
In his 24 league games before being injured last season he scored five goals, bagged six assists, had an 88% pass completion rate and made more than three tackles-per-game. In other words he's a pretty complete player. Vidal has pretty similar statistics from last season, and given Strootman's price is said to be around £40 million (the same as Vidal) and he's considerably younger, it makes sense that he is now on their radar.
Perhaps the biggest frustration for Manchester United fans is that he's not one of theirs already. The Red Devils were in for him when he left PSV but - in what is becoming an increasingly familiar tale - they delayed too long and Roma stole him away.
The biggest issue for Manchester United is that it may not be a matter of personnel but how they can fit into Van Gaal's system. There are bound to be some growing pains as we've already seen - the Dutch boss says it is going to be three months until he has his team playing how he wants - which means by the time January comes around Strootman's arrival may rock the boat.
However as a long-term target and player who could be at the club for quite some time, targeting Strootman makes perfect sense.
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