PSV Eindhoven's Kevin Strootman has been one of the most heavily linked players with Manchester United and according to his agent -- Chiel Dekker -- the midfielder desires a move to the Premier League:
"He is focused on England because that would suit his style. He has the physique, the character and the fitness for it. I am certainly not afraid he could handle that level.Kevin has ambition but it is not in my hands. From PSV it would have to be a step up to a good club. It is not simple though because the price will be expensive and not many teams can afford him. The clubs know what he can do now. It is up to them whether they want to reach an agreement with PSV and take him."
- Dekker (Strootman's agent)
The Holland international -- and Euro U-21 Championship captain this summer -- is clearly a talented player and there's little doubt that he could cut it in the Premier League. As his agent describes, Strootman is physical and willing to engage in tackles, his passing range and vision is very solid, and his positioning is good. There is a lingering doubt, though, at least in my mind, that he can be a gamechanger for one of Europe's top clubs.
The midfielder is only 23-years-old so he's far from a finished product. In addition, he seems relatively low-risk for a top Premier League side because his game likely translates to the league's fast-pace and physicality. At worst, his floor seems to be that of a squad player for a top club. I wonder, though, if his ceiling is below that of a world-class player as his talent doesn't scream out at you so obviously like it does for a Thiago Alcantara.
United's scouts have been on Strootman for awhile and the interest in him seems genuine. It's very possible that the club could be waiting first to see how things play out first in their often reported pursuits of FC Barcelona's Thiago and Cesc Fabregas. In addition, the club appears to interested in Everton's Marouane Fellaini if they can get him for a price lower than his £22-24 million buy-out clause. Furthermore, there's been speculation that Strootman actually hopes to stay at PSV for another year so that he can essentially be guaranteed regular playing time ahead of next summer's World Cup. Perhaps then, it's true that the Holland international desires a move to England, it just might not be until next summer due to a number of factors.