So, how many of you miss the commendable leader Roy Keane? The United legend, a stalwart off a player, an adored character in the club and the man who had a huge influence on the team on and off the field.
Keane was a prime example of a box to box midfielder, who called the shots from the midfield and covered a huge ground for the team. Manchester City are blessed to have a player like Yaya Toure in their ranks, but United have really suffered last season with the absence of such a formidable midfielder in the team. Although Cleverley and Carrick combined together to do a decent job, the much needed midfield enforcer is always missing. Anderson was expected to fill the slot when he was brought in, but to say that so far he has largely disappointed would be an understatement. Thus, it is high time for United to move for a player of this genre and so far it looks like that Kevin Strootman of PSV has a bright chance of joining the team. Kevin Strootman follows the likes of Riijkaard, Seedorf, Cocu, Van Bommel and will carry forward Netherlands legacy of producing solid midfielders.
One of the basic requirements of a box to box midfielder is his physical presence on the field, and Strootman is definitely on par with the best regarding this. His passing is precise, tackles are strong and ball winning exemplary. He also has a knack of scoring goals and with a deadly left footed shot, can edge past any keeper in the world. One of the other features that link Strootman and Keane is the leadership skill. Strootman is a motivated player on the field and sooner or later could be trusted with the armband.
He has so far featured in 62 league games for PSV, scoring 13 times. At 23 years of age he has a long future ahead of him and thus United should not hesitate to splash in the rumoured £20m for him, especially when we take into account the price of the other targets of United for this position, namely Fellaini and Vidal. He has been cappped 18 by the Dutch national team since his debut in 2011 and has also captained the Dutch U-21 side into a European Championship.
If United can pursue Strootman to come to Old Trafford next season, it would be a huge step forward for the club and his presence on the field could give United a whole new dimension. Strootman along with the rumoured Barcelona star Thiago Alcantara could join hands with the likes of Kagawa and Carrick to start United’s title defence with a sign of intent as the Red Devils prepare life without Sir Alex Ferguson.
The rumour mills have gone quiet regarding Strootman’s transfer to United over the past few days, but his agent has tipped the midfielder for the Premier League move.
“He is focussed on England because that would suit his style,” Strootman’s agent Chiel Dekker said. He has the physique, the character and the fitness for it. I am certainly not afraid he could handle that level.”