Strootman, a traditional number 8, has impressed both in his domestic league and in the Dutch national team, with former coach Bert Van Marwijk praising the midfielder for his vision.
Strootman mainly plays centrally but can play anywhere in the midfield if needed as either a defensive midfielder or a deep lying playmaker. At only 22 Strootman has been capped 15 times for the Netherlands where he’s worked effectively with Rafael van der Vaart and is firmly established in the national side.
This news does come as a surprise as Strootman has been a long-term target for Manchester United, but now reports by credible journalists in the Sunday Times are certain that whilst United do still like the player, the Liverpool interest is much stronger.
If Strootman were to sign then this could rule out any move for the much coveted Christian Eriksen, the Danish attacking midfielder.
Eriksen aged just 20 is seen as a realistic target given the fact he’s previously refused offers from both Chelsea and Barcelona and is keen not to rush his career; instead opting to join Ajax in order to develop his play. He’s also friends with Daniel Agger (his national team captain) and his former captain at Ajax, Luis Suarez.
Whilst the two players are very similar it’s thought Strootman is more versatile in midfield, being able to play in a number of roles, whilst Erikesen is limited to the centre of the apex. Tactical flexibility is important to Rodgers who’s said a number of times he likes versatility and people willing to play ‘where needed’ and not necessarily where they want to.
Whilst no fees have been discussed as yet, Strootman is valued at around £12 million whilst Eriksen is valued at just under £15 million. Both players seem to fit the much reported profile that Liverpool are looking for, although such a profile was recently denied by Managing Director Ian Ayre on Sunday in a live interview with Sky Sports News.
As for January, The Times are also reporting that whilst the conversations with the Blackpool winger Tom Ince seem to have stalled, he is still expected to sign before the end of the month. Whilst rumours over another Reds target Nicolas Isimat-Mirin, the Valenciennes defender, have cooled in recent days, agents in France are said to be working hard to make the deal happen before the end of the window.
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