After a few rather disappointing seasons, with managers coming and going rather quickly, AS Roma finally seemed to hit on the right formula last year. With Rudi Garcia at the helm, the giallorossi challenged Juventus for the title and although they fell short, claimed second place and automatic entry into the Champions League.
One of the reasons for Roma’s success last season was the smart acquisition of players. Maicon and Gervinho were revitalized under Garcia, Morgan De Sanctis rarely goofed in goal and Mehdi Benatia was a revelation. But it was Kevin Strootman, signed from PSV, that really made the side click. With him helping protect the defense, Roma conceded just 25 goals, the second fewest in Serie A.
But in March, Strootman suffered a season-ending injury, meaning his dream of going to the World Cup was also dashed. But although the Dutchman is still recovering from his knee injury, he’s wanted by Manchester United — or shall we say, their new Dutch manager.
Back in June, Louis van Gaal confirmed his interest in the midfielder, although it’s unlikely United would make a swoop until the January transfer window. The manager reiterated this yesterday, saying “We have to wait and see how he comes back. It is not easy to say how he comes back from injury, but we will wait and see.”
So Strootman remains on United’s radar. The only problem is, Roma don’t quite see it that way. In fact, they don’t want to let him go.
“Strootman is a Roma player. He will be a Roma player this year. There is no doubt about that,” said Garcia. “Only he can say whether he wants to stay, but it was never an issue for him to go to another club. There is no question of it.”