Holland rocked as van Gaal loses one of his untouchables

Kevin Strootman, a player Louis van Gaal has labelled as untouchable, will play no part for Holland at the World Cup Finals due to injury.

The midfielder suffered a knee injury in Roma’s 1-0 defeat to Napoli on Sunday evening, a result which leaves the Giallorossi a whopping 14 points behind Serie A leaders Juventus. Strootman was forced off the field after just 12 minutes, and a scan has revealed the 24-year-old has damaged his anterior cruciate ligament.

This means the former PSV Eindhoven star will miss the remainder of the season and, crucially, the World Cup Finals this summer. Van Gaal had previously described the player as one of his three untouchables in the Dutch side, along with Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben and Manchester United striker Robin van Persie.

“This is dramatic for Kevin Strootman. I can imagine that his world collapsed,” van Gaal told knvb.nl. “Kevin stood with both his club AS Roma, as with Orange for a very important period. Kevin had a very big contribution to our qualification for the World Cup in Brazil. But the worst is for Kevin, who sees his dreams are shattered.”

Strootman has been a key player for Roma since his €17million arrival in the summer, having scored five goals in 24 league appearances. He had previously been linked with a move to Old Trafford, and it has been reported that David Moyes was considering making a move for a player often likened to United legend Roy Keane when the window reopens.

However, the Holland star now faces at least six months on the sidelines, so it is unlikely the Reds boss will press ahead with any interest in signing him this summer. He could, though, monitor the progress of the midfielder when he returns to action, with the view to possibly making a bid for his signature in January 2015.


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