Kevin Strootman was, understandably, hot property this summer. The Dutch international is almost the complete midfield player. Capable of playing advanced or deep or as the go between the technically gifted but bullish midfield operator had plenty of reported suitors this summer.
But the smart money seemed to be on Manchester United getting their man, after reportedly tracking his progress in Holland for a couple of years.
Strootman was seen as a perfect midfield addition for the club, but it appears David Moyes was not as big a fan of the Dutch international as his predecessor Sir Alex Ferguson.
It was reported at the start if June that Manchester United have not made an approach for the player, despite the common consensus in the British media.
A month later and he was an AS Roma player, the first big signing of new manager Rudi Garcia’s reign. He decided on a move to Italy after receiving advice from his Dutch national team-mates and it is a deal that has excited the Giallorossi faithful.
Now however Strootman has been expressing some doubt over the move … well at least when it comes to the price-tag that is.
Strootman was signed for a combined fee of €20 million - with €16.5 million being paid immediately, and a further €3.5 million being pad in various bonuses over the next couple of years.
And Strootman has admitted his shock at learning the hefty price Roma paid his former employers for his services:
“To be honest, I didn’t think I would leave [PSV]. But what happened is very simple – I was strongly wanted by Roma and there was instantly a good feeling between us. I don’t think PSV ever thought they would get so much for me. Pressure? It’s clear that there is pressure on me – there always is when a player costs so much. You have to perform.”
So while Strootman may not be so sure of his obvious talents considering the amount United were quoted for Ander Herrera and had to stump up for Maraoune Fellaini they would probably view that price-tag as a bargain.
So far the signs look good, his 94% pass success rate on debut makes for obviously pleasant reading.
Meanwhile Manchester United are still short of central midfield options - and you have to wonder why they never entered the race for this talented 23-year-old worth every penny Roma have spent on him.
Should United have spent €20 million on Strootman?
image: © Damien Cansse