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It’s bizarre that people have likened Kevin Strootman to Roy Keane. It’s like saying Shinji Kagawa plays like Hajime Hosogai. Keane doesn’t have the finesse passing of Strootman, and Strootman doesn’t have the never-say-die attitude of Keane.
Put it this way: If Strootman was 5’7”, he’d be a No. 10. It’s such a waste playing Strootman in a deep-lying midfield role because his vision and ability to create something out of nothing should entail more productivity in a more offensive role.
He doesn’t shy away from tackling, but who else is going to put in some tackles in PSV Eindhoven’s top-heavy midfield? Ola Toivonen certainly isn’t. Georginio Wijnaldum deferred most of his defensive duties to Strootman.
Strootman isn’t superman. He can attack and defend against weaker teams like Roda, but he doesn’t have the same impact against better teams like Ajax.
If he moves to a bigger team, he needs to demand to play as the No. 10 or accept the conversion to a defensive midfield role like Mark van Bommel did.
Van Bommel had great goal-scoring instincts during his PSV’s days, but Strootman is infinitely a more talented player. It was disgraceful to watch Bert van Marwijk’s nepotism towards Van Bommel deny Strootman a chance to shine at Euro 2012.