Kevin Strootman has long been linked with a move to the Premier League and with good reason. The Dutch international has excelled in recent years for PSV Eindhoven and that has seen teams such as Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester United all linked with his signature. So why has nobody signed him up?
It is quite simple really and it boils down to money. As good as the 22-year-old is an astonishing price-tag of £18 million a fair estimation? Clubs probably do not see it that way but maybe there is a slightly more cost efficient alternative in the Eredivisie.
Jens Toornstra at ADO Den Haag is the player in question and this season he is starting to truly excel. His main attributes are insatiable stamina and excellent range of passing; as you would expect from a young Dutch player. He turned 24 on New Year’s Day and with Strootman turning 23 in February there is only a year between the two in terms of age so that is not an issue.
He has been the pivotal member of an ADO side overachieving in recent seasons and while he has not yet featured for the Dutch national side there are many who believe that has been too long an oversight by Oranje and last month he was called up to the squad for training.
A genuine box-to-box midfielder his style of play is more than suited to the Premier League and he is likely to cost a fraction of the price that Strootman would set you back. His current contract runs until the summer of 2014 and while ADO have the right to exercise a one year extension to that deal such events have not yet been forthcoming as many tip him for an exit in this current January window.
With an estimated price-tag of €3 million you can see why Swansea City were linked with his signature earlier in the season. While so far nothing concrete has come through this month he has stated it is his dream to one day play in England:
"I really have never spoken with Swansea, but for me it is a dream to play in England at some point. I have had a much better season than last year. And the team is also getting better."
While many will immediately argue that Strootman is of a much higher standard than Toornstra I would argue that is simply not the case; in fact I believe the two to be very similar in terms of playing style and ability and the differential in their respective valuations is quite frankly absurd.
With Swansea chasing yet another bargain you wonder if they could snap up another Michu and leaving the top clubs smarting once again from missing out on one of the continents true best kept secrets.
Do you think Toornstra is better value for money than Strootman?
image: © jikatu