Advocaat: Midfielder will force a move to Manchester United

The former Netherlands and Russia boss feels it is only a matter of time before Kevin Strootman is signed by the Old Trafford outfit.

With Manchester United linked with a host of new midfielders, one player that they did not pursue supposed interest in over the summer was Kevin Strootman.

The Netherlands international had been reported as a long-term target for the Old Trafford outfit, but sealed a move to Roma over the summer.

The former PSV Eindhoven captain has been in sensational form since his switch to the Stadio Olimpico, helping Rudi Garcia’s team to the top of Serie A.

Former Netherlands and Russia coach Dick Advocaat has been full of praise for his countryman, and has stated that if his current form continues he could well end up in Manchester yet.

“Strootman is a pure professional,” the coach told Algemeen Dagblad.

“It frankly surprised me that he did not get to the absolute top last summer and was on the side a little.

“I do not think he will stay at Roma that long. If Kevin is at this level, he will be plucked away.

“And then it will be a team of the calibre of Manchester United.”

Looking at Strootman’s form this season, the Premier League champions may well have missed out on their ideal midfield addition by letting him move to Italy.

The 23-year-old is your stereotypical box-to-box midfielder, who has the no-nonsense approach to break up opposition attacks but also the work-rate to get forward and support his attackers.

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Alongside Daniele De Rossi this term, Strootman seems to have come of age and is set to play an important role in Roma’s charge towards Champions League qualification this season.

Internationally, Strootman started for the Netherlands in their 2-2 draw with Japan on Saturday, and has amassed 23 caps for the Oranje over two years.

He will be an important player for Louis van Gaal’s side in Brazil, and an impressive World Cup campaign will only move to add interest in him - and push his potential transfer fee up.

Roma signed the star for a fee of around £15 million, but if Strootman’s progression continues at the current rate his valuation should United come to buy him could well be as much as double that.

image: © Damien Cansse

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