Gunners hope early move to bring star to Emirates Stadium will fight off interest from Manchester United.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has sent his chief scout to Holland this weekend in order to scout exciting PSV Eindhoven midfielder Kevin Strootman.
Gunners boss Wenger is currently in the process of drawing up his shortlist ahead of the January transfer window, with the club’s board promising funds to bring in at least two new players.
Schalke hitman Klass Jan Huntelaar, Atletico Madrid poacher Adrian and Crystal Palace starlet Wilfried Zaha are all players currently being considered, but Wenger is especially interested in Dutch international Strootman.
Chief talent spotter Steve Rowley has been packed off to Holland by Wenger to create a detailed scouting report on Strootman during PSV’s clash with Ajax, featuring background checks and reports from other Gunners officials who have also monitored the player’s progress.
It is thought PSV would only consider selling Strootman for a bid in the region of £20million.
Both Arsenal and Manchester United have been linked with signing Strootman from PSV in the last month or two, and it is clear why their interest has been piqued.
Strootman has emerged this season as a top class central midfielder, evolving from a deep lying playmaker into a driving box to box star.
Beginning his career in the number ten role just behind a striker, the decision to move him back to just in front of the back four has worked wonders.
Now able to influence the game in front of him, Strootman has become the conductor in PSV Eindhoven’s team, but far from just a Pirlo figure spraying balls wide to full backs or wingers. Instead, Strootman pushes his team on, like a Roy Keane or indeed Patrick Vieira figure.
Should Arsenal beat Manchester United to the transfer of Strootman, it would be a real statement of intent for the club, with the Netherlands international likely to cost around £20m.
That would shatter the Gunners’ transfer record, and would be a drastic change in the recruitment policy of the north London club.
Although Strootman is young at 22, and still has considerable potential, he is much closer to the final product than the classic Arsenal player.
At 6’1″ tall, he is also much more of a physical presence than the likes of Mikel Arteta, Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla.
With such a significant outlay at stake, Arsene Wenger will hope that Kevin Strootman fulfils the high expectations forming around him.
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