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.
One team who had been tracking him for a couple of seasons were Manchester United - and with the retirement of Paul Scholes and the clear need for a new central midfielder a deal was rumoured throughout the summer.
However the price-tag was always a talking point.
“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.”
But he has changed his tune. Speaking while on international duty with Holland he had this to say of those who doubted his worth in the summer:
“A few months ago, some found it incomprehensible that Roma paid so much for me. Football is like that, as one week everything is perfect, a week later it all looks bad. I received a lot of criticism and some is still coming in.”
And the Dutch international has a point. He has been a pivotal figure in the Roma side this season that has dominated Serie A - and with five assists and two goals from 11 appearances and an impressive pass success rate you can see how important he has been to that form.
Considering the amount United almost paid for Ander Herrera, now struggling with Athletic Bilbao - and how much they have spent on Marouane Fellaini that ‘incomprehensible’ fee certainly looks a little easier to comprehend today.
image: © thearcticblues