Whilst the worldwide media have been busy updating the January classic, “Wesley Sneijder to Manchester United” story to now read “Wesley Sneijder to anyone that will listen”, there has continued to be speculation linking another Dutchman with a January move to Old Trafford.
Kevin Strootman has garnered something of a growing reputation across Europe since his move to PSV Eindhoven from FC Utrecht in a combined 13 million euros move with Dries Mertens in the summer of 2011.
In little over a year the midfielder has established himself in the heart of the PSV engine room alongside the veteran Mark Van Bommel and as captain of the Dutch giants.
It caps a somewhat meteoric rise for Strootman who endured the pain of relegation with his first club Sparta Rotterdam in just his second season as a professional. Strootman then moved on to FC Utrecht and again to PSV within six months.
On top of an action packed club career, the midfielder has racked up fifteen caps for his country becoming the Netherlands youngest ever captain at 22 during last October’s World Cup Qualifiers against Andorra and Romania.
Starring for Sparta in his early days as an attacking playmaker looking to join attacks, Strootman adapted his game to become a deeper lying holding midfielder equipped with an excellent range of passing and the ability to drive forward from deep.
The arrival of Van Bommel at the Phillips Arena has seen Strootman revert to type somewhat, allowed greater freedom to get forward and he has responded with a return of five goals and five assists in the eighteen Eredivisie appearances so far this term.
PSV have made clear their intentions to keep the midfielder in January with coach Dick Advocaat joking that he would pretend his player was injured if a big club were to come calling, though they appear to be resigned to losing their star player in the summer.
soccernews.nl have reported that the Dutch club have lined up Elfsborg midfielder Oscar Hiljemark as his replacement, and in an interview with talkSPORT, Strootman’s agent Chiel Dekker confirmed the likelihood of a summer move, suggesting Manchester United as a possible destination and confirming contact had been made with the club.
An all-action midfielder with the ability to perform a number of roles, Strootman looks a good fit for Manchester United, with the ability to work alongside Michael Carrick and succeed him in the long-term.
His natural leadership skills and a determination to succeed have seen his stock rise from playing in the second tier of Dutch football to captaining the national team within two years.
January may come to soon for this deal to be done, but if Strootman is packing his bags come July, expect Old Trafford to be his destination.
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