Tag Archives: Kevin Strootman

A Dutch injection of youth

The end of an era is inching closer:

Arjen Robben 31 years old, 86 appearances, 28 goals

Robin van Persie 31 years old, 96 appearances, 49 goals

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar 31 years old, 71 appearances, 39 goals

Wesley Sneijder 30 years old, 113 appearances, 28 goals

Rafael Van Der Vaart 32 years old, 109 appearances, 25 goals.

These players have been the staple of the Oranje for the last seven years, now all of them are on the wrong side of thirty. To say that they do not have valuable playing time left would be foolish, Robben is having the best scoring year of his career, and if not for injuries would have eclipsed the twenty goal mark for the first time in the Bundesliga, while Van Persie was the leading goal scorer for Manchester United before also picking up an injury. These injuries are proof that these legendary Dutchmen are slowing down, and that father time is creeping up on them. It is time for change, time for new stars to be bloom and become legends themselves.

Thankfully for the Oranje Crush, young players are making strides at all levels, making their debuts for clubs in Holland, moving to bigger leagues, and are donning the KNVB jersey for the first time at a senior level left, right and center. So who will be the stars of the future? Which players will shine bright on the international stage? Thomas Tittley investigates…


If anyone in the footballing community has not heard of the electrifying left winger by now, they shall soon be introduced to his brilliance as he has just signed for Manchester United and Dutchman Louis Van Gaal. Compared by many to Ronaldo, Depay surprisingly made the national team during the World Cup in Brazil last summer, however was far from disappointing, scoring twice including a stunner against Australia.

The 21-year-old has incredible pace and balance, able to explode down the wing with his fantastic dribbling skills, cut into the middle causing defenders to twist and turn, before releasing a powerful strike with his cannon of a right foot. The young man has found the back of the net 22 times in the Eredivisie this season, many of which have been highlight reel goals, including a whopping seven free kick goals.

Depay will play left wing, a position where the Netherlands have lacked scoring for several years, with Eljero Elia, Ibrahim Afellay and Jeremain Lens all failing to make a serious impact on the squad. Eventually, the young man will have to replace Robben as the main threat on the wing. He will undoubtedly become a world-star, however will he be a big enough star to lead the Oranje to their first major international trophy since 1988.


Yes this one is somewhat surprising, but every great squad needs a great striker up front, and Dost has all the tools to become a great striker. No other country in the world has produced as many quality strikers as the Netherlands, from Marco Van Basten, to Patrick Kluivert, Ruud Van Nistelrooy and Robin Van Persie; there is seemingly no end to the talented goal-scorers. Unfortunately for Holland, Robin Van Persie, the all-time leading scorer for Holland, and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, the third leading scorer, are both 31-years-old.

Dost offers a glimmer of hope, the 6’5 Wolfsburg striker is one of the most polarizing players in football, fans do not know if they should despise his inconsistent play and slow starts, or marvel at his goal scoring tally. Incredibly, Dost has scored 16 times in the Bundesliga, despite having only one goal through the month of November. While he was on his scoring streak he had a shooting percentage of 82%, scoring on more than eight out of his every ten shots. With Dost, the Netherlands could play beautiful attacking football, with him holding the ball up for the insane amount of pace that Holland possess on the wings, very similar to how PSV played with Luuk De Jong. Yet when you have a 6’5 striker who is talented in the air, sometimes the temptation to go route-one is too strong, which was evident against Turkey a few months ago. This temptation is something Guus Hiddink should try and stay away from as it takes the rest of the squad out of the flow of the game and is easy to defend.

Bas Dost could end up as either one of the most prolific strikers in Europe or a total bust, for now just enjoy his quality in front of goal, and pray that he continues to develop.


The 24-year-old Wijnaldum is the rare midfielder that combines skill and athleticism, capable of picking out a brilliant pass, as well as beating a defender for pace. He showed this talent while playing for the Oranje in Brazil last summer where he impressed with his distribution ability and even scored in the bronze medal game against Brazil.

The young man playing in Eindhoven has converted from a winger, which he played at the Under 21’s and was arguably Hollands best player during that tournament, to a box-to-box midfielder. Wijnaldum has impressed both offensively and defensively, as well as being the leader and organiser of the Eredivisie champions PSV Eindhoven. Scoring 13 goals and three assists throughout the season, he impressed many using his athleticism to take defenders on and has terrific finishing in front of goal. Since moving to the midfield he has thrived, his passing ability evident averaging 32.8 passes a game, 1.2 of which are key passes, with and 84.7% success rate (WhoScored.com).

Wijnaldum has also embraced the new defensive responsibilities with 1.1 tackles a game and one interception a game, pretty fair for someone who was a winger two years ago. Now it is time for Wijnaldum to take on a new challenge, with the brilliant season for PSV behind him, Premier League squads are eyeing the attacking midfielder who has been linked with Manchester United, Newcastle United and Liverpool.


Injuries have ravaged promising careers of Dutch players, such as Elia and Afellay, who showed so much promise, were slowed by multiple long term injuries. The Netherlands should pray that Kevin Strootman is different. When healthy, he is one of the best distributors in the world, capable of picking out a pass with ease and slicing open a defence like a knife through cheese. After the 25-years-old Strootman moved from PSV to AS Roma for a hefty £17 million, great things were expected.

Unfortunately, a knee injury in March of 2014 kept him out of the World Cup where he would have without a doubt been the favourite to start in the midfield beside Wesley Sneijder. In January of 2015 Roma announced that Strootman needed ACL surgery which would keep him out for a lengthy period of time. Although these injuries seem grim, in only seven appearances for Roma he already has two assists, making 41.3 passes a game, 1.3 key passes a game, averaging a passing accuracy of 85.9% (WhoScored.com). Those are gaudy numbers for the playmaking Strootman, who will hopefully make a full recovery and continue to open up defenses on the international stage.

The Netherlands have been contending for big trophies for the past decade, if they wish to continue their success and add to the trophy case, then this injection of youth that was seen in the 2014 World Cup, will have to continue throughout the Euro qualifiers and beyond.

Data courtesy of Opta


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Roma should cash in on Kevin Strootman now before his inevitable move to Man Utd

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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Roma rule out selling Strootman to Man Utd

AS Roma manager Rudi Garcia has ruled out selling Dutch international midfielder Kevin Strootman. On the eve of Roma playing Manchester United in a pre-season friendly, it is thought that new Red Devils manager Louis Van Gaal is interested in signing the 24-year-old.

Garcia said: “Strootman is a Roma player, he will be a Roma player this year. There is no doubt about that. Only he can say whether he wants to stay but it was never an issue for him to go to another club. There is no question of it.”

“Strootman is following a normal recovery programme,” said Garcia. “He has stayed in Boston to work with our physios and he will start running any time soon.” The central midfielder sustained a cruciate knee ligament injury in March, which ruled him out for the Netherlands at the World Cup in Brazil.

Van Gaal is thought to be a huge admirer of Strootman who he described along with Robin Van Persie and Arjen Robben as one of his three captains in the Dutch national team.

Due to Strootman’s injury, Van Gaal had to change the Netherlands formation from 4-3-3 to 5-3-2 as he felt that he did not have a central midfielder of the same quality as the former PSV Eindhoven man. With the midfielder seemingly having returned from injury quicker then expected reports in Italy claim United may make a £30 million bid. Roma however don’t have to sell as they unlike the Red Devils can offer Champions League football and Strootman dependent on his fitness may not even pass a medical were a bid to be accepted.

If Strootman was to leave Roma to join Manchester United then it is most likely to happen in the January transfer window or next summer when United are in a better position to negotiate and with the player having fully recovered form his long term injury.


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In a 33 man squad, RVP & Huntelaar return for France clash


Oranje coach Louis van Gaal has named a huge 33-man provisional squad for the Netherlands’ friendly match with France on March 5th in Paris. The friendly with France is the first of four warm-up games for the Dutch ahead of this summer’s World Cup in Brazil.

Dutch captain Robin van Persie returns after having missed his country’s last two friendlies through injury.

Also recalled is Schalke striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, who has only recently made his comeback after a knee injury. The 30-year-old striker had spent five months on the sidelines but has scored two goals in four league appearances for the Bundesliga side since returning to action after the winter break.

Van Gaal has also announced six players to his squad who could win their first cap including dangerous winger Jean-Paul Boëtius, who has been in great form over the past few months for Feyenoord and could receive his first cap in Paris. Other possible debutants in the squad include PSV pair Karim Rekik and goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet, FC Twente’s Quincy Promes, Vitesse’s Davy Pröpper and Ajax’s Davy Klaassen.


GOALKEEPERS: Jasper CILLESSEN (Ajax), Tim KRUL (Newcastle United), Maarten STEKELENBURG (Fulham), Kenneth VERMEER (Ajax), Michel VORM (Swansea City), Jeroen ZOET (PSV).

DEFENDERS: Daley BLIND (Ajax), Jeffrey BRUMA (PSV), Stefan DE VRIJ (Feyenoord), Bruno MARTINS INDI (Feyenoord), Daryl JANMAAT (Feyenoord), Karim REKIK (PSV), Gregory VAN DER WIEL (Paris Saint-Germain), Joel VELTMAN (Ajax), Paul VERHAEGH (FC Augsburg), Ron VLAAR (Aston Villa).

MIDFIELDERS: Jordy CLASIE (Feyenoord), Nigel DE JONG (AC Milan), Siem DE JONG (Ajax), Leroy FER (Norwich City), Davy KLAASSEN (Ajax), Davy PROPPER (Vitesse), Stijn SCHAARS (PSV), Wesley SNEIJDER (Galatasaray), Kevin STROOTMAN (AS Roma).

FORWARDS: Jean-Paul BOETIUS (Feyenoord), Memphis DEPAY (PSV), Klaas-Jan HUNTELAAR (Schalke), Dirk KUYT (Fenerbahçe), Luciano NARSINGH (PSV), Quincy PROMES (FC Twente), Arjen ROBBEN (Bayern Munich), Robin VAN PERSIE (Manchester United).


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Ronaldo spoils Dutch hopes


Cristiano Ronaldo saved Portugal from a defeat to the Oranje as he scored the an 87th minute equaliser in a 1-1 draw.

The Real Madrid winger’s late goal erupted the crowd at the Estadio Algarve on Wednesday night, and cancelled out Roma midfielder’s Kevin Strootman first-half opener.

Despite being stripped of the win, it was a good result for Louis Van Gaal’s side. Missing in action was Wesley Sneijder, who was recently stripped of the captaincy due to the coach’s concern over the Galatasaray man’s fitness.

Feyenoord defender Bruno Martins Indi was handed a start against the country of his birth, alongside a young defence of team-mate Stefan de Vrij, Ajax’s Daley Blind and Paul Verhaegh who plies his trade in Germany with Augsburg. Van Gaal started with a three man midfield of Strootman, Hamburg’s Rafael van der Vaart and PSV’s Georginio Wijnaldum. Up top, we saw the trio of Robin van Persie, Jeremain Lens and Arjen Robbin with goalkeeper Michel Vorm starting inbetween the sticks.

Portugal named a strong eleven, with Ronaldo leading the line alongside Danny and Helder Postiga and it was the Portuguese who created the first chance of the game inside the opening minutes. Ronaldo rose above everyone to nod a tame effort from a Ruben Amorim cross straight at Vorm.

The Oranje scored the opening goal on 17 minutes, new Dynamo Kiev winger Lens found his former PSV team-mate Strootman on the edge of the penalty box and he sent a low drive catching out goalkeeper Beto at his near post.

The hosts pressed for an equaliser and should have score on 29 minutes. Danny picked out Ruben Micael at the far post, only for the midfielder to direct his effort wide from ten yards.

In the second half, the Netherlands did little to trouble the Portuguese goal, and RVP, who was quiet throughout, found himself hauled off on the hour mark. In comparison, Ronaldo stole the show and was in a buoyant mood, and he was very nearly rewarded for his play after 63 minutes, hitting a long-range strike towards the goal, put Vorm saved well.

After midfielder Miguel Veloso hit the crossbar, it was Ronaldo again that came to the rescue. Three minutes to go, Dutch dreams of a win were crushed with Ronaldo finishing from close range colleting the ball from a deflected Veloso corner.


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Strootman excited by Roma challenge

Kevin Strootman is relishing the chance to have a crack at Serie A after joining Roma from PSV Eindhoven. The Holland midfielder has signed a five-year-deal with the Giallorossi after the two clubs agreed a fee reported to be  €20million.

Strootman wrote on his personal website: ”I am very excited to be able to play for this great club. ”It is the next stage in my career development after being at Sparta, FC Utrecht and PSV, a club at which I had a lot of fun.

The 23-year-old admitted that he had sought the advice of PSV teammate and former Milan midfielder, Mark Van Bommel before opting to move to Italy.

Strootman told De Telegraaf: ”He was the man with experience of Italy. ”Mark said how great the passion of the fans was, how special the atmoshpere in the stadiums was and and how there was a totally different football culture.

”What counts for me is the number if big games I am going to play here. ”I will train everyday with top players and get to play with the likes of Inter, Juventus and Napoli.”


PSV agree Strootman fee with Roma

The excepted transfer of Kevin Strootman to Serie A side AS Roma is close to completion. His current club, PSV confirmed on their official website this morning that they have reached a financial agreement with the Italian club for the Oranje international. The fee has reportedly been agreed at up to €19 million.

Kevin Strootman on the ball during a FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifier

Tonight, the 23-year-old is in Rome to negotiate personal terms before undergoing a medical check tomorrow morning and join up with his new team-mates for pre-season training.

Strootman spent two seasons with the Eindhoven club since moving from FC Utrecht in June 2011. He collected some silverware within the two years, having won the KNVB Beker and the Super Cup in 2012, and also Oranje vice-captain.

PSV’s sporting director Marcel Brands stated that this was an offer the club could not refuse: “This was a transfer we could not refuse, the money is one of the biggest amounts in the club’s history but it’s a great loss to the squad.

It is yet another case of a big star of the Eredivisie leaving to progress their career elsewhere, this is a player that should take the Serie A by storm with his tough-tackling and tempo controlling play.



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PSV announces double signing

PSV Eindhoven have presented the signing of Dutch central midfielder Stijn Schaars to the press today. He joins from Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon, in what could be the replacement for Kevin Strootman.

Copyright 2013 PSV Media

Schaars, 29, signs on a three-year contract, previously won the Eredivisie championship with AZ Alkmaar in 2009 and will look to bring that title back to the Phillips Stadion after a six-year wait for the Eindhoven side.

Schaars is new head coach Philip Cocu’s fifth signing of the summer in the major rebuild of the PSV side. With captain Kevin Strootman set to complete a €20million move to Serie A club Roma in Italy, Schaars will wear the number 8 shirt in his absence.

The Dutchman has made 18 appearances internationally for Oranje and has spent the last two season in Lisbon with Sporting and scored six goals in 66 games in all competitions.

The Cocu Revolution continued later tonight with the announcement of the sixth signing. 21-year-old Colombian right-back Santiago Arias also joins from Lisbon and signed a four-year contract.

Copyright 2013 PSV Media

Arias,  can either operate as a right defender or right midfielder and is a product of Liga Postobon’s side La Equidad’s youth academy. Like Schaars, he spent two years in Lisbon. Both Schaars and the Colombian were transfered for a reported €1.6million. PSV are set to make great profit this year after the sales of half the first team squad that finished second in the Eredivisie last year.

The Eindhoven side also presented Jeffrey Bruma to the press today, signing a four-year contract after the doctors assessed a heart complaint from Bruma’s past, but cleared the player of all problems.



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Strootman to Roma can wait

Although it is far from complete, the transfer of PSV’s Kevin Strootman to AS Roma is still on but the Eindhoven club are still not financially satisfied by the deal as of yet.


It is reported that PSV wants at least €18 million for the tenacious midfielder but the Serie A club has yet to match an offer for near that amount. Technical director, Marcel Brands has stated that the player will stay with PSV unless the money is right: “The money for the transfer has not been decided yet, and it is important that we get the right amount for a player we think very highly of.”

According to Brands, it may be some time before the deal is complete: “We are in no rush to broker this deal and AS Roma understands that. When Dries Mertens left, Napoli took five or six days to arrange it. In the meantime, Strootman will train and play with us in Germany.”

One team that will be hoping the transfer is complete soon is Strootman’s former club, Sparta Rotterdam.

Strootman came through the youth ranks at Sparta and when the player transferred to FC Utrecht in 2011 for €750,000 they left a clause in the contract to receive some part of any transfer fee received in sales of the midfielder. When Strootman moved to PSV from Utrecht, Sparta reportedly received around €335,000 from the deal, as they are set to receive 4% of any transfer fee.

Sparta’s general manager Wiljan Vloet spoke to AD Sportwereld and stated that money could help the cash-strapped club: “We want to put the money in the day-to-day running of the club. We are dealing with deficits in the budget and, with this windfall, we can partly cover the amount.”



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NEWS: Strootman ‘We have let the fans down’

It went all wrong on Thursday night for PSV.  The Eindhoven club knew they could end the season on a real high by clinching the KNVB Beker but they failed at the hands of AZ Alkmaar.

Strootman: “We all need to look in the mirror. Me too”

“This was the chance to finish the season in a dignified way”, said PSV midfielder Kevin Strootman after the game. “We had the chance to still give the supporters something, the atmosphere they created was fantastic, but we have let them down.”

“We have to make a stand and we did not succeed, due to our own mistakes and for that we need to look in the mirror. Me too.”

PSV found themselves 2-0 down at De Kuip after just fifteen minutes through goals from Adam Maher and Jozy Altidore.

Strootman: “We gave away too much space and AZ scored from their first two chances and when they both go in, it then becomes difficult…”

After half an hour of play, Jürgen Locadia grabbed an goal, but then PSV failed to produce any chances. Until, Jeremain Lens was close to equalizing as he smashed his shot against the post late in the game.

Although PSV had three penalty claims turned down in the game, Strootman refuses to use that as an excuse: “Let’s not talk about it, otherwise I’ll be accused of complaining.”



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