If Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson wants to strengthen his midfield this summer, he should look no further than Dutch midfielder Kevin Strootman.
United are currently leading the Premier League by 15 points ahead of their local rivals Manchester City, who Ferguson has famously labelled 'the noisy neighbours'.
The Red Devils have been the most consistent team in the Premier League and have lost only once at Old Trafford - against Tottenham - and twice on the road.
In total, they have picked up 42 points at home and 32 on the road, dropping just 13 points all season. They have managed to score 69 goals in the league, but have conceded 31 times.
Early in the season the Red Devils were conceding many goals and were forced to outscore their opponents in order to win matches, often coming from behind due to their strength in depth in the attacking department.
With the most notable starting pair of Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie, they boast the top two strikers from last season. They also have fellow strikers Javier Hernandez and Danny Welbeck to call upon when needed.
With the attacking ability of Antonio Valencia, Nani, Ashley Young and Shinji Kagawa, Ferguson has a wealth of attacking ammunition at his disposal. However, at the start of the season Phil Jones, captain Nemanja Vidic, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans all had injury problem which meant Michael Carrick had to be used as an emergency central defender on occasions.
This was a major problem for Sir Alex as United were leaking goals due to the lack of stability in the back-four. But the Red Devils managed to get through that tough period and with all defenders available, particularly the pair of Vidic and Rio Ferdinand, Man United have become stronger at the back - especially thanks to the good form of goalkeeper David De Gea.
With a lethal attack and a solid defence due to all the defenders returning from injury, there is still evidence that Manchester United can improve, especially in the middle of the park.
They have the likes of Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley, Anderson, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Darren Fletcher, who is out for the rest of the season.
None of the aforementioned is a ball-winner and a dominant presence in the middle of the park. Carrick is having a wonderful season and is maybe the first name on the team-sheet but he is not the dominant type of midfielder that the Old Trafford faithful have been seeking since the departure of Roy Keane and Nicky Butt.
Carrick is known for his accurate passing, intelligent positioning and his reading of the game that allows him to make interception and break up the opposition play in midfield. Cleverley is a hard-working player who has shown glimpses to suggest that he belongs in the Man United midfield. The England international, however, is more of a playmaker who works hard to help out defensively, and has done so to relatively good effect. He has formed a great partnership with Carrick this season and has been in good form for both club and country.
Giggs and Scholes are in the twilight of their careers and so they are not expected to perform at the highest level week-in-week-out. Giggs, in particular, has been outstanding, especially when playing wide on the left which is no doubt his best position.
Anderson has been disappointing once again this season. He is no doubt a great talent as we have seen what he is capable of: running at defenders, driving the team forward with amazing runs through the midfield, and he has an eye for a great pass. His problem, however, is keeping fit and healthy. Anderson always seem to get injured as soon as he starts to find a good run of form.
With the title seemingly wrapped up, Man United may be looking to improve the squad in the summer and the first name that comes to mind is young PSV midfielder Kevin Strootman.
Strootman has been compared to Roy Keane thanks to his dominant displays in the middle of the park for his club. The Netherlands international is a physically imposing player with impressive distribution, vision, aerial power and a good burst of pace.
He is hard in a tackle and has great energy and determination about him. He is the type of player that will bring much-needed steel to the United midfield, as well as the elegance of a Scholes with his distribution and vision. He is very versatile, capable of playing as a defensive midfielder, an advanced playmaker or an anchorman.
Strootman is the type of player that Sir Alex normally goes for because he is young and, at the age of just 23, he is a regular in the Dutch National Team and even captained them against Andorra and Romania in this current World Cup qualifying campaign.
He is seen as a natural leader on and off the pitch and this is the exact type of player that Sir Alex should look to bring to Old Trafford. Strootman is ready-made for the Premier League with his physical frame and aerial power, and can therefore be a threat from set-pieces as well as helping to defend against them.
He has scored five goals so far this season in the Eredivisie and has also scored once for the national team. He also has European experience which would come in handy for those Champions League matches at Old Trafford.
With the likes of Van Persie and Alexander Buttner at Old Trafford, Strootman would not be a total stranger and could be eased into life at Old Trafford with the help of his fellow countrymen.
He is tipped to become a big star in the future and that dream could be realised if he moves to Old Trafford, with Sir Alex capable of turning him into a real superstar.
The forthcoming summer transfer window may be a busy one at Old Trafford, with many players likely to be sold but the United faithful will be hoping that a dominant top-class ball-winner comes in to improve the midfield as it is the only position in the team that is not as strong as the defence and the attack.
Some may be hoping that Van Persie will persuade Strootman to join United while on international duty; however, there has been rumours that Ruud van Nistelrooy, who is now on coaching internship at PSV, will instead be used to encourage the Dutch starlet to sign for the Red Devils.
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