Manchester United target Kevin Strootman starts first game in 272 days

Kevin Strootman was in the starting line-up for Roma as they took on Serie A rivals Sassuolo.

One name that continually gets linked with Manchester United is that of Dutch international Kevin Strootman.

Louis van Gaal is a big fan of his countryman, who would have been at the World Cup this summer were it not for a terrible knee injury. Sir Alex Ferguson was also a big fan of the player in his time at the club - and he is reportedly the club's number one transfer target for the winter.

Roma have made it clear that Strootman is not for sale. They want to keep their team together in order to hopefully pick up some silverware in the coming seasons - they see the Dutchman as integral to that dream.

Strootman himself has also made it clear he is perfectly happy at Roma, although he has never explicitly ruled out a move to Manchester United.

Valued at around £40 million by the club he has of course been recently out of action with a knee injury.

Strootman tore his anterior cruciate ligament in a game for Roma against Napoli back in March and only returned to first-team action last month.

He has struggled to find his best form in his cameos so far however, today he actually got a start. It was the first time he had started a game in 272 days.

Unfortunately it did not go well for him. He struggled, as did Roma. They found themselves 2-0 down against Sassuolo as Italian international Simone Zaza took them to the sword.

Strootman was withdrawn in the second half, replaced by Belgian international Radja Nainggolan and once again it was just a toe in the water for Strootman, whose form will slowly come back to him.

After his exit from the game Roma turned things around and a late double for Adem Ljajic earned them a point.

But at the moment, United would be foolish to sign Strootman in January.

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