There are few things more frustrating than watching a flourishing young talent stricken by a devastating injury, and that’s exactly what happened to Kevin Strootman.
A torn anterior crucial ligament sustained against Napoli in March stopped the 23-year-old’s scintillating first season at Roma and deprived him of the World Cup.
In Brazil he would’ve been under the guidance of one Louis van Gaal in the Netherlands squad, with the Dutchman lamenting the young midfielder’s misfortune.
The road to recovery has been a long one as van Gaal has moved on to Manchester United in the meantime, where he’s said to be keen to reunite with Strootman.
Strootman has been constantly linked with the Red Devils since the ex-Oranje boss’s arrival at Old Trafford, said to be a top choice to bolster van Gaal’s midfield.
But his injury – as well as Roma’s insistence Strootman isn’t on the market – has kept any possible deal on ice for quite some time.
The Giallorossi are looking forward to the star’s return as they target the Serie A title this season, his absence exacerbated by lay-offs for Daniele De Rossi and Seydou Keita this term.
And finally, following eight months of rehabilitation work, Strootman looks set to taste competitive action once again.
Per Corriere della Sera, the Netherlands international will lace up his boots for the Roma Primavera side on Sunday, coached by De Rossi’s father, Alberto.
Roma are said to take the occasion so seriously that the match will be moved from the Campo Di Bartolomei to Testaccio as to avoid the synthetic surface at the former.
It’ll be a big moment for both Strootman and Roma should he indeed turn out for the Giallorossi youth set-up, meaning he’s a giant leap closer to first-team action.
Strootman’s final stage of recovery seems well and truly under way, good news for the Dutchman and his employer alike.
Van Gaal will likely be keeping an eye out and spare a glance at his former international charge’s progress, even if Roma would like to keep him at a arm’s length.
The Giallorossi are likely to ignore and all calls for Strootman this season as he makes his comeback, next summer seemingly the earliest United could make a concrete move for him.