Daniel Levy's Imaginary Shortlist: Kevin Strootman

Dean Mouhtaropoulos

Could this Dutch midfielder be the missing cog for Tottenham's midfield and Andre Villas-Boas' 4-3-3 formation?

One of the major problems for Tottenham Hotpsur last season was the midfield. Mousa Dembele came in and did a great job, but he was injured too often. Sandro was extraordinary at the beginning of the season, but a knee injury did him in. Scott Parker performed decently at times, but his role was such that even those decent performances were not anywhere close to what was expected of him. To help shore up the midfield, Spurs should look at a player like PSV Eindhoven's Kevin Strootman.

The Basics

Name: Kevin Strootman

Age: 23

Team: PSV Eindhoven

League: Eredivisie

Position: Midfield

Can also play: Defensive midfield, Attacking midfield, and Left Midfield

The Specifics

Strootman moved to PSV a couple of years ago and since going them he has really shown his class. He's a well rounded player that could play in any number of roles in the midfield. He is a good passer of the ball and seems to be a real dynamo in midfield. He's not, however, a strong dribbler, like Dembele. He does posses a decent amount of creativity though and that combined with his passing make him very valuable.

Perhaps the best way to describe Strootman is to think of a slightly smaller, slightly more mobile and well-rounded Tom Huddlestone. Strootman is a pretty good-sized kid. He's 6'1 and 78kg (I think that's close to 170lbs), but he certainly doesn't lack for movement and workrate. Like Huddlestone his long passing is superb and he does very well as recycling possession.

Still only 23, Strootman has already been capped 18 times by the Netherlands. Former Netherlands manager Bert Van Marwijk described Strootman as a mixture of Nigel de Jong and Rafael van der Vaart, not too conservative, but not too offensive.

The Verdict

Likely price: £10,500,000 according to transfermarkt.co.uk

Probably that valuation is wrong: This is kinda 50/50. It could be higher or it could be lower. He could go for £8.5 million or he could go for £12 million.

Team's willingness to sell: One of the realities of the Eredivisie is that, at some point, you're going to have to sell your better players. Ajax do it consistently and PSV aren't any different. I'm sure PSV would love to hold on to Strootman, but if a good offer comes in they won't hesitate to move him.

Fit at Tottenham Hotspur: This really depends on what formation you think AVB is going to use next season and how the current personnel fit within that formation. If AVB wants to roll out his 4-3-3 formation and has a healthy Sandro playing as the shield in front of the defensive line and Dembele playing as a more advanced midfielder, then the team still needs a deeper-lying passing midfielder. None of the current players, save Huddlestone and Carroll fit that mold and each has their own negatives. Strootman, however, could fill that role easily and there's not much downside to him.

Possibility he ends up at Spurs: Pretty low. Strootman has been linked with moves all over the place. Big clubs like Manchester United, Barcelona, etc. If no one else actually puts a bid in for him, then he would come to Spurs. That possibility, however, seems pretty remote.

Grade if this transfer goes through at likely price: B. Strootman is 23 and has been capped by the Dutch National team 18 times. At £10.5 million he would be a steal, especially given the other teams interested in him. I think he's a great player, but I think there are other players that could do a better job for Spurs. I wouldn't be said about buying Strootman, but it wouldn't be the greatest thing ever.

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