Arsenal are tracking the progress of PSV Eindhoven captain Kevin Strootman very closely.
The £17 million rated Dutch midfield man has admitted that he will listen to all offers that come his way at the end of the season, with Arsenal and Manchester United thought to be the two English teams seriously interested in him.
Arsenal have had their chief scout Steve Rowley watching the 23-year-old but they may struggle to get him to choose North London over the much more beneficial move to Manchester United.
It will help Arsenal’s cause if they finish in the top four but at the moment, that looks far from an odds on certainty over United, who look as though they will wrap up the Premier League title comfortably.
Arsenal need to rely on their manager and their board if they are going to get this guy because a number of things have to go in their favour.
The price tag that Strootman is currently carrying is not exactly pocket money but it’s within the region that Arsene Wenger seems comfortable with paying for new players. If it goes over the £20 million mark then the club could fall away as a buyer.
Wenger himself has to play a huge role in convincing the Dutchman to choose Arsenal over United because whichever way you look at it, Arsenal are in an inferior position.
Wenger has to use every bit of his expertise and experience to make subtle guarantees to Strootman over his playing position, his likely status at the club and highlight the things that Arsenal can offer him, which United can’t.
One thing is the fact that Arsenal are a London based club and they can play on the glamour and appeal of the city to try and tempt the 23-year-old to choose them for a more luxurious or entertaining lifestyle than he would get in Manchester.
He would also get to be part of a very young team which is trying to push on and achieve things over the next few years. United have young players too but Strootman could feel more comfortable in and around players at his own age level.
Arsenal could probably offer him more consistent football than he would get at United because there is a clear need for a player of his type in the side. Arsenal need an enforcer sort of player and he’d be undoubted in that position in an Arsenal shirt.
However, few players would look at these reasons and still turn down the chance to move to Old Trafford, so Arsenal’s best chance of getting him may be if United were never interested in him in the first place.
Arsenal fans, would you like to see him at the club?
image: © michael hilton