A Dutch football expert and player agent has suggested that Kevin Strootman may not be ready to play for Manchester United in the Premier League.
Magnus Magnusson represents over 20 Icelandic players playing football in Europe, meaning he regularly attends Dutch matches where Strootman has been playing for PSV Eindhoven.
The 23-year-old midfielder is thought to be closing in on a move to Manchester United, with speculation linking the two parties since roughly this time last year.
While Magnusson admits Strootman could cope in a physical sense, what he seems to be worried about is the pressure side of the midfielder player for United and how that could impact his game and his mentality.
“At United he will have to perform week-in week-out because it will not be cheap for them to take him there – when he has been man-marked in games against the smaller clubs, he was outplayed,” Magnusson told SportsDirect News in an interview.
That suggests he is also vulnerable to tactical game plans by the opposition, which have the purpose of preventing him from having any influence over games.
However, his presence in the Netherlands Under-21 squad for the European Championships this month, provides him with a chance to show that he can think outside the box when it comes to tactics.
The Netherlands are in a group which contains Germany, Spain and Russia. Germany and Spain are the two favourites to win the tournament so they will work very hard on nullifying the effect of key players in the opposition.
If Strootman can play well against those sides then it means he can prove Magnusson wrong and ease any fears David Moyes may have over the comments he’s made.
It will also give Strootman the chance to match up against some very high profile players. Isco of Spain could be playing for Manchester City next season while Lewis Holtby of Germany has already started his Premier League experience with Spurs.
How he plays in the match against Germany, with Holtby in the midfield will be the most intriguing. Holtby made 11 Premier League appearances for Tottenham last season following his move from Schalke and did not look out of place.
“His success will depend on where Manchester United see him fitting in – Strootman has been playing a more attacking role. But he has only scored five goals this season,” he added.
That comment can also be considered flawed because Strootman has been playing alongside a very defensive player in Mark van Bommel which has placed pressure on him to be more attacking and more aggressive.
The presence of Shinji Kagawa in the Manchester United team means the club don’t have a direct need for a creative, forward thinking player. They would be buying Strootman as more of a box to box, aggressive holding player.
He’s also been captain of PSV Eindhoven at various points which has simply heaped the pressure on him to an even higher degree.
His lack of goals playing as a more creative number eight has come because he’s playing slightly out of his comfort zone and under more pressure than he may have been.
Physically he’s ready, mentally he’s already been playing football at a very high standard and tactically David Moyes can work round the various issues he may have. Strootman remains a superb potential signing for Manchester United.