Opinion: Man United Are Looking At The Wrong Roma Midfielder And Should Move For Radja Nainggolan Instead

Van Gaal should turn his attentions away from Strootman and on to Belgian cohort.

As the January transfer window fast approaches, Manchester United’s chequebook will surely be burning a hole in Louis Van Gaal’s pocket at the anticipation of solving a number of his side’s teething problems under his stewardship.

The club have already been linked with a number of players, both creative and defensive, as he looks to consolidate the side’s regained place within the Premier League’s top six.

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One name that the Red Devils have consistently been linked with is Roma’s Kevin Strootman. The Dutch midfield destroyer that has only just made his return from a long term injury this month.

Clearly a talented player, Strootman is still commanding an eye watering transfer fee despite not doing anything since the early part of the year and United are still being tipped to table a huge offer to bring hum on board.

However, just because the player has a high reputation doesn’t mean that he is the best option – not right now anyway.

No, instead, the one player that United should make a move for is Strootman’s Roma teammate Radja Nianggolan, whose own rise to prominence in his teammate’s absence should be causing those with the powers to make decisions to question LVG’s wisdom when it comes to splashing the cash.

Strootman joined Roma in the summer of 2013 after impressing in the Eredivisie with PSV Eindhoven. He started off well in the Italian capital before injury robbed him of an appearance at the World Cup, but he was still very much getting used to life in Serie A – a much tougher league that the one in his homeland – so in many ways, the jury was still out.

Nianggolan, who initially joined the club on loan at the same time as Strootman, arrived from fellow Italian side Cagliari, and already knew all about what is required of a player to make an impact in a notoriously tight devision.

At 26, he has worked his way up to the top just in time to reach his peak, especially for an all-action operator like him.

Having already shown his chops against Manchester City in the Champions League this season, the Belgian international proved that he would not be overawed in the midfield battled he would face on a weekly basis in the UK.

He is similar to Strootman in many ways; both offer a high defensive contribution whilst displaying strong tacking and passing. Nianggolan is also adept at holding up the ball, more so than Strootman, and he will offer his side more of a goal threat, too.

United want someone that will make their midfield tick, and that man is Nianggolan. They would not need to wait for him to regain his sharpness and fitness, making him reliable straight away and having already got well acquainted with international colleague Marouane Fellaini the likelihood of an already existing partnership being struck improves greatly.

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