Manchester United are rumoured to have agreed a deal in principle for the Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman and one of the people who knows Louis van Gaal better than most, believes the Dutch international could be as important to LVG as Roy Keane was to Sir Alex Ferguson.
Hugo Borst, author of the new Van Gaal biography ‘O, Louis’, was quizzed by Greg Johnson in an exclusive interview for ST and The Republik of Mancunia and had the following to say on LVG’s pursuit of Strootman:
"Strootman would have played for Manchester United (if not for injury). He would have been the first one he contracted. That was a disappointment for both them. You never know with Strootman whether he'll come back at the same level. He is a fighter. He has got a very good mentality.
The perfect player for Louis van Gaal is Strootman. He took Daley Blind in the last days of the transfer window, and that says to me that he was fourth, fifth, sixth choice. Daley Blind: good player, but a little bit light.
He is always looking for somebody who is reading the game; who is destructive but not in a destructive way. Louis van Gaal never asks for people to make injuries, start a war, it doesn't matter. He's a clean trainer and that's something I like very much. He loves the game.
What's interesting for him with players like Strootman is they think defensively and offensively. That, for him, is the total player. He's always mentioned the word total: the total human being, the total this, the total that. But Kevin Strootman is a quite extraordinary player.
I hope really he comes back at his old level because he is kind of a Roy Keane... Yes, a Roy Keane player. Less aggressive in a way, but he can tackle very hard and could be sent off one time in a season, and score six, seven yellow cards, but he likes to play football and he can play football.
I saw him make his debut for Sparta Rotterdam and after 10 games he was the best man on the pitch. He was extraordinary. How no one discovered him? Unbelievable. The complete midfielder."