Euro 2012 has well and truly started with a bang with yesterday’s opening Group A games producing 7 goals, 2 red-cards and a missed penalty. Who was it who said tournament football usually starts of with cagey boring affairs!
Today the so-called ‘group of death’ starts as Germany and the Netherlands face off against Portugal and Denmark with a constellation of stars on show.
One player who is very much a rising star should be worth looking out for. His name is Kevin Strootman. He plays for PSV Eindhoven and believe it or not he is challenging the highly-rated and well-respected Nigel de Jong for a starting place..
Strootman has been linked with a move to Manchester United since the last transfer-window and has certainly come a long way in the last 18 months. Fast forward back to last January and he was plying his trade in the Dutch second division with Sparta Rotterdam before FC Utrecht pounced for his signature.
After only six months at Utrecht, PSV came calling and signed the midfielder along with Belgian forward Dries Mertens (yes that’s the chap who pushed Gary Cahill into Joe Hart last weekend!) in a double-deal in July last year. Both players impressed in Eindhoven last year with both becoming regulars in their national teams.
Strootman has allegedly been watched by a whole host of European clubs over the last year and now he has the chance to really show his talents on a major scale going toe-to-toe with the best midfielders that Europe has to offer, becoming more well-known to the average fan in the process.
As is the case with any young box-to-box midfielder, Strootman has been labelled ‘the next Roy Keane’ which whilst it’s a nice compliment to have on your shoulder, being compared to a great of the game can sometimes have its problems. After all think of the endless amounts of young Argentinean forwards who were called ‘the next Marradona’ before a certain Lionel Messi came along.
With doubts over whether Darren Fletcher can recover from his bowel illness and on Anderson’s future, United are in need of reinforcements particularly in midfield. A good showing at Euro 2012 will only benefit Strootman’s chances of getting a big move away from the Eredvise as well as no doubt PSV wanting more money in return for his services.
By Adam Dennehey @ADennehey87