Strootman or Witsel: Which alleged Everton target is the best option?

General view outside the stadium before the match - Goodison Park

The two midfielders have been linked with a summer move to Goodison Park.

Belgium's Axel Witsel in action with Republic of Ireland's Wes Hoolahan

According to recent reports from the Guardian and the Liverpool Echo respectively, Everton manager Ronald Koeman is considering a summer move for Zenit St Petersburg midfielder Axel Witsel and AS Roma star Kevin Strootman, but who would be the better option for the Toffees assuming the rumours are true?

At their best, both players are among the most impressive midfielders in Europe, but Strootman has obviously been affected by the recent injury setbacks that have robbed him of much of the last two seasons.

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He has now returned to full fitness yet considering his recent history there is always going to be a risk in bringing him in for big money and on a long-term contract.

In contrast Witsel has had far fewer injury problems, playing over 40 games in each of the last three seasons and racking up a total of 156 appearances for Zenit to date.

In short, signing Witsel is less of a risk, while his record in front of goal is also impressive, with 71 club goals in his career (including 21 for Zenit, 45 for Standard Liege and five for Benfica).

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman

In contrast Strootman has only found the net 34 times in his career, although his recent absences obviously played their part.

Based purely on reputation Strootman would be the better option for Everton; after all he was once regarded as one of the finest central midfielders in the game and were it not for his injuries he would almost certainly have joined Louis van Gaal at Manchester United.

But Witsel continues to impress both for club and country, and with a contract that expires in little over a year, he could be signed for less than it would take to bring the injury-prone Dutchman to Goodison Park, marking the Belgian out as the better option.

General view outside the stadium before the match - Goodison Park

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