The Future Of Kevin Strootman Lies With Louis Van Gaal and Manchester United

The summer window has been closed for a few days now, but it hasn’t stopped the rumor mill from pumping out stories of potential player moves during the January transfer period.

A name that has surfaced in recent days has been that of AS Roma midfielder and Dutch international, Kevin Strootman.

The 24-year-old has been the subject of transfer speculation since the arrival of Louis van Gaal at Manchester United earlier this summer. But Van Gaal failed to make an “official” inquiry for Strootman because the Roma midfielder is still recovering from cruciate ligament surgery, with the player not scheduled to return to the pitch until November.

United failed to table a bid for the midfielder because Strootman would have never passed a medical with the club, and Van Gaal wanted the Holland international to prove his full fitness once the player’s season commenced in Italy.

Van Gaal was asked about Strootman prior to a relapse of the player’s injury in July. The Dutchman responded: “I never say anything about individual players. It is my vision that we talk about a team and not individual players. But Strootman I can judge. He is injured and more than six months, though, and we have to wait and see how he comes back.”

“It is not easy to say how he comes back from injury, but we will wait and see.”

Strootman had been the focal point of the Dutch manager’s plans preceding this summer’s tournament in Brazil. Van Gaal admitted that the 24-year-old, who often served as a box-to-box midfielder or a deep-lying playmaker, was “a very big contributor” during Holland’s World Cup qualification.

But Strootman’s injury meant Van Gaal had to scrap his strategy and rethink Holland’s tactics to get the most out of the squad at his disposal. Had the player been healthy, it is possible the Netherlands could have improved on its third place finish at this summer’s World Cup.

There is no secret of Van Gaal’s fondness for Strootman, and United are in need of a top class player in central midfielder. The club’s owners showed during the summer window that they would invest in rebuilding the squad and backed the Dutch manager’s ambition to the tune of £150 million worth of new signings.

Sources close to United are reporting that the club’s hierarchy are still convinced Van Gaal is the man to rebuild and galvanize the franchise following its disastrous 2013-14 campaign under David Moyes. The Dutch manager has been told that he can continue to invest in his squad when the transfer window reopens in a few months.

Speculation is Van Gaal will make an “official” move for Strootman at the start of the January transfer window, with some saying discussions have already taken place.

For now, the player’s agent Fabio Parisi has stated that the midfielder is focused on his recovery and cannot wait to “contribute to Roma’s cause.” But statements like these are common in situations when a player is so strongly linked with a move to another club.

Strootman is reportedly valued at around £30 million by officials at the Italian side. Although, Roma’s manager Rudi Garcia has suggested that it would take £79 million to pry the physical, tough-tackling midfielder away from the Seria A club. 

With numbers such as these, and the fact that January is never an easy time to acquire transfer targets, it seems United are going to have to pay handsomely to acquire the midfielder Van Gaal so greatly admires.

But if the club’s summer spending is an indication of its determination to re-establish the twenty-time champions of England as a force of European football, it’s safe to say Kevin Strootman’s future lies with Louis van Gaal and Manchester United.

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  1. Frill Artist September 6, 2014
  2. rkujay September 6, 2014
  3. Mark Williamson September 6, 2014
    • Jake September 7, 2014
      • Mark Williamson September 7, 2014
        • Jake September 8, 2014

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