Louis van Gaal is a keen admirer of Kevin Strootman and would love to bring his countryman to Old Trafford to strengthen a midfield crying out for reinforcements. David Moyes did make this a priority last summer when he first arrived as manager. He attempted to make a swoop for Cesc Fabregas, who was at the time with Barcelona, as well as Marrouane Fellaini, who he had managed at Everton. The Scot was only able to land Fellaini during a transfer window that became a debacle for United. In truth, neither of Moyes’s primary targets are the type of players the team needs writes Joe Maloney.
Ander Herrera has been impressive since leaving Athletic Bilbao for £29 million. He adds comfort in possession that we have become accustomed to seeing from a classy Spanish midfielder. He evidently has the confidence in playing the ball forward which will enable plenty of chances for the likes of Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney.
Michael Carrick, now the oldest player at the club, is out for a number of months after sustaining a knee injury. Had the England midfielder been fit, evidence illustrated last season indicated his best days were perhaps behind him. Tom Cleverley has not developed into the promising player he once appeared and the same applies for Anderson. Darren Fletcher has impressed during pre-season, but has not featured in over 20 league appearances during a season, since 2010-2011. That leaves the disappointing Fellaini. The Belgian midfielder was probably the least natural fit of a Manchester United player brought to the club in recent memory. Employed in a holding role, he does not possess the movement and struggles to maintain possession. Often, Fellaini is found wanting, in what has been billed as his best position and usually finds the game passes him by. This is a midfield that has been starved of top-class replacements since the departures of Owen Hargreaves and Paul Scholes. It was the reason behind Scholes’s return to the side after his original retirement.
Although Strootman is recovering from a serious knee injury, sustained last March, Van Gaal is a keen admirer of the midfielder and would like to bring him in. David Moyes discarded the opportunity to sign the Roma player. He also called off the chance to sign Thiago from Barcelona before he joined Bayern Munich. Strootman has only recently started light training and still facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines. However, with United’s essential need in midfield, speculation has risen that a bid could be submitted before the transfer window shuts at the end of the month. Roma coach Rudi Garcia was quick to play down this rumour after Roma’s 3-2 defeat to LVG’s team during the club’s tour of America.
“Maybe after a three-digit offer, then we will sit down and think about it” said Garcia.
Last season the midfield was never more exploited, in both matches, against eventual champions Manchester City. City’s dynamic players Yaya Toure and Fernandinho were far too much for the likes of Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley or Fellaini to handle. Any top-side midfield in the modern game expresses high amounts of speed, power, urgency, movement and ball retention. None of those components you could label at the Red’s centre midfield in the last campaign. Some could say it isn’t something they have displayed for a number of years since losing the likes of Paul Scholes and Owen Hargreaves. Strootman portrays great strength, drive and stability that would match well to the side’s capabilities.
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