Why Kevin Strootman Is the Answer to Manchester United's Midfield Woes

Max TowleAnalyst ISeptember 30, 2012

EINDHOVEN, NETHERLANDS - APRIL 14: Kevin Strootman of PSV in action during the Eredivisie match between PSV Eindhoven and AZ Alkmaar at Philips Stadion on April 14, 2012 in Eindhoven, Netherlands.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Manchester United's midfield woes go on and on, Saturday's clash with Tottenham being the most recent example in a long line of underwhelming performances in the middle of the park.

Sir Alex Ferguson's side have looked completely unwilling to do battle at the heart of the pitch at times this season, but if the underperforming Michael Carrick isn't the man to fill the giant hole in midfield, who is then?

Granted, Anderson looked impressive in last week's Capital One Cup win over Newcastle, but he is far from being the type of midfield general to end fans' nostalgic longing for a Roy Keane-type of player.

Not to covet our neighbour's possessions, but if United had a player like Manchester City's Yaya Toure on the books, life would be a whole lot easier at Old Trafford.

PSV's battering ram, Kevin Strootman, is available though and likely to be available for a good price come the new year.

The 22-year-old central midfielder's agent recently told the Daily Mail that "Strootman has had a good time in Eindhoven, but he decided that he wants to prove himself in a better league.

"If an agreement is able to be reached with a potentially interested club, PSV will allow Kevin to leave in January."

This is only the Dutchman's second season with the club, but considering his meteoric rise to prominence last season, his desire to move to pastures new is understandable. United's interest in him has long been known, with head scout Martin Ferguson reportedly having been sent to monitor his progress several times in the past 12 months.

In terms of a price tag, the Mail believe that a deal could be completed for £20 million, but considering the player's desire to leave, such a figure is surely negotiable.

Regarding other potential targets, such as Marouane Fellaini and Arturo Vidal. the cost would likely be at least £5-10 million more. In that respect, Strootman represents good economic value too.

In terms of ability, he is certainly not lacking.

A box-to-box midfielder in the vein of a young Roy Keane or Yaya Toure, Strootman is a formerly attacking player now developed into a more versatile force in the middle of the park.

His ball control and short passing are exemplary, displaying the type of vision all players in his position require. A strong, motivated leader too, Strootman is a possible future captain in the making, further increasing comparisons with Keane.

He is also a tough, ball-winning tackler—he would automatically become the most durable player in the United midfield if he did come to Old Trafford.

Oh, and he can score too, possessing a left boot with enough force to score with ease from outside the box.

A long-term successor to Nigel de Jong in the national team, Strootman has already earned 11 caps for the Oranje, scoring once.

From a personal standpoint, the more I see of him, the more I'm impressed.

PSV may not have gotten off to the best start this season (they currently lie in fifth in the Eredivisie at the time of writing), but Strootman remains an undiminished positive in the team.

But the most important question remains, are you sold yet?

Is Kevin Strootman the answer to United's midfield woes?

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