Kevin Strootman has been strongly linked with a move to Manchester United this summer.
The 23-year-old Dutch international had a great season with PSV in which he made his national debut and given his box-to-box style of play, he is seen by many as the exact player that Manchester United need.
His current manager Dick Advocaat labelled Strootman as a ‘fantastic player’ ahead of an expected move to the Premier League but Magnus Magnusson, an agent who represents multiple Eredivisie players but not Strootman, believes that Strootman may not be ready to make the move to United this summer.
“So his success will depend on where Manchester United see him fitting in, will he be a ‘number six’ or a ‘number eight. This year PSV’s ‘number six’ has been Mark van Bommel so Strootman has been playing a more attacking role. But he has only scored five goals this season.” Magnus Magnussen
Speaking to SportsDirect News, he said: “I’ve seen him play many times this season, I spend a lot of time in the Netherlands because of the players I already have there. Strootman is not 19 years old, he’s 23, so he’s certainly not old but he is not a youngster anymore.
“He’s not small, he’s 1.86 metres (6ft 1″) so physically he can cope in the Premier League and he has a fantastic left foot and great potential.
“But the main thing is PSV Eindhoven have scored 103 league goals this season and Strootman has got just five. So for me, he is not contributing enough goals to play at ‘number eight.
“So his success will depend on where Manchester United see him fitting in, will he be a ‘number six’ or a ‘number eight. This year PSV’s ‘number six’ has been Mark van Bommel so Strootman has been playing a more attacking role. But he has only scored five goals this season.”
Though the problem seems to lie in his goalscoring ability from midfield, it is likely to not worry David Moyes. Michael Carrick only managed one Premier League goal whilst Cleverley (2), Anderson (1) and Fletcher (1) all contributed around the same figure.
If United brought in Strootman who could contribute five goals from midfield, it would be an improvement on how little return our current midfield provided and Moyes is known to be a fan of getting goals from midfield, seeing as Maroune Fellaini finished the club’s top scorer for 2012-13.
But given United’s attacking firepower, the signing of Strootman would be more a move to bring some physicality and presence to the midfield rather than simply adding goals to the team.
Magnusson also thinks that the midfielder will need time to adjust to the demands of the Premier League but is not sure that he will be given that luxury should he be Moyes’ first signing at the Manchester club.
“His consistency also comes into question,” Magnusson continued. “At United he will have to perform week-in week-out because it will not be cheap for them to take him there.
“Sometimes in Holland, however, when he has been man-marked in games against the smaller clubs, he was outplayed and his effectiveness was nullified.
“What will Manchester United expect from him? He could be the first signing of the new David Moyes era, which is a big statement. So, will he be given time to settle in or will they expect instant success from him. I don’t think this is a guarantee.
“Also, he will be moving to a better league. He has been playing in the Eredivisie, which is not as high quality as the Premier League or the Bundesliga, of course. For example, Luuk de Jong moved from FC Twente (where he netted a goal every two games) to Borussia Monchengladbach in Germany last season and he hasn’t managed double figures this term.”
On paper, Strootman looks like the perfect playing partner for Carrick in the centre of midfield. He is left footed and his all round game would compliment Carrick’s composed and calculated style of play.
United can’t rely on the likes of Anderson and Cleverley to provide the midfield spark because we have looked so weak there for the past few seasons, so Moyes must make signing a midfielder his priority and maybe Strootman is his man.
Do you think Strootman is ready for a move to Manchester United?