Ruud van Nistelrooy is making his first steps into coaching with an internship at his former club, PSV Eindhoven and that should prompt Sir Alex Ferguson to get on the phone and start grovelling as soon as possible.
Van Nistelrooy didn’t leave Old Trafford on the best of terms but he is an obvious access route the club can use to try and get a little bit closer to Kevin Strootman if he’s a serious transfer target.
Strootman is a beast of a midfield player and someone United have been linked to over the last few months. If he’s available then United could face a lot of competition from other Premier League and European sides in the summer.
He’s almost the complete midfielder; he scores goals (six this season) and he likes to get stuck in (nine yellow cards this season) and he’s making a name for himself at just 23-years-old.
Therefore, if United are serious about him then they need to try and get an advantage in the battle for his transfer, which could save them a great deal of time and effort.
Van Nistelrooy is someone who will have access to him because he’s doing a coaching internship at the club, as he looks to build his coaching profile and gain experience over how to manage players.
He can effectively sell the club to Strootman, talk of the benefits, the pressure and the excitement of being a United player and what it would mean to the fans if they had a brand new Paul Scholes type player they could get behind.
Despite the circumstances surrounding his exit, he also owes United a favour because they didn’t pull out of their original deal to sign him from PSV.
Van Nistelrooy picked up a bad knee injury the original summer he was meant to join United but the club showed faith and stuck with him, when they couldn’t have been blamed for pulling out of the deal.
He’s not integral to getting Strootman to sign for United but he can be very useful and he may be willing to help now that he’s not playing professional football any more.
Any bitterness he holds at being axed by Ferguson will now surely be a little bit more muted because he’s going into coaching and not playing, wondering what may have been had he been able to stay at United for his whole career.
Don’t be surprised if Strootman does make the switch to Old Trafford this summer and don’t be surprised if van Nistelrooy has something to do with it because Fergie is too wise and experienced to let an obvious opportunity like this slide.
Do you think Strootman will join United?
image: © eirikref