Kevin Strootman may never experience life as a Manchester United player, as fresh doubts over his long-term future emerge.
The Holland international underwent knee surgery last March, which ruled him out of Louis van Gaal’s squad for the World Cup Finals. When the Oranje head coach left his national role to take over at United, it was widely reported that he would monitor the fitness of the midfield player with the view to luring him to Old Trafford at the end of his debut season in England.
Strootman returned to action for Roma in November, and coach Rudi Garcia immediately ruled out a January sale by insisting he would play a key role in the Giallorossi’s push to challenge Juventus for the Serie A title. However, the 25-year-old managed just seven appearances before he suffered a recurrence of his injury which could rule him out for at least the remainder of the season.
This in itself may force van Gaal into a rethink of his summer plans, although he continues to insist a midfielder is at the very top of his list of priorities ahead of next season. Worse still, a former Roma club doctor has now placed further doubts over Strootman’s future, by claiming the previous surgery may have caused long-term damage to the former PSV Eindhoven star.
“My impression is that the surgery on Strootman’s ligament did not go perfectly,” Mario Brozzi told Gold TV. “I don’t know what happened to his knee, but his Cyclops syndrome results from a problem in the ligament’s position. The cartilaginous damage is determined by the extensive deficit. Now, if this is the situation, I see no way out. But it’s not up to me to say whether further surgery is needed.”