Roma manager Rudi Garcia has indicated that the decision to sell Kevin Strootman either in January or next summer ultimately won’t be his. Instead, this question should be directed at club president James Pallotta.
This doesn’t make the Dutchman’s future at Roma crystal clear and may tempt some into investing in the 7/5 that the 24-year-old joins forces with Louis van Gaal at Man Utd in January.
However, the far better bet is the 1/2 that Strootman remains with Roma.
The big strength of Strootman is his ability as a box-to-box midfielder, turning defence into attack at speed and then in the opposite scenario, winning back possession quickly.
Strootman was ranked in the top 15 for tackles per game in Serie A last season, while scoring five goals in only 25 appearances, making six assists and maintaining a pass success rate of virtually 90 per cent.
Radja Nainggolan is doing an honourable job of filling in for Strootman this season while he recovers from a cruciate ligament injury, but the Swiss workhorse doesn’t have the same attacking end product.
When Strootman returns, he will walk back into the starting line-up at Roma.
Meanwhile, for all of his defensive contribution, Strootman is not a player to use at the base of a diamond midfield. He would arguably be competing with Ander Herrera for the spot just to the right as these two are fairly similar in skillset.
If Man Utd require another midfielder, it is more of a physical enforcer needed to challenge for a starting berth against Daley Blind. Strootman isn’t this player. What Van Gaal needs is someone more in the mould of Chelsea’s Nemanja Matic.
Strootman’s strength lies in his leadership and he would be expected to follow in the footsteps of Roy Keane and Nemanja Vidic at Old Trafford. Remember, he is the youngest player to ever captain the Dutch national team in a competitive fixture.
There is no doubting that Strootman would improve the Man Utd squad and probably be a regular starter, but £30m could surely be better spent at present addressing other positions.