Video clip Ranking: four / five
Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman is thought to have confirmed that he wants to join Manchester United in January or in the summer transfer window. The Dutchman was heavily linked with a move to the Premier League in the summer, but it did not materialise due to several reasons. Roma did confirm a few weeks ago that it would take more than £ 75 million in order to persuade them to sell Strootman, who is a vital part of the team. Since Roma have returned to the Champions League, they are unlikely to be in desperate need of funds.
The 24-year-old is currently running around € 30,000 per week, which is vastly insignificant compared to his potential earnings of around € 120,000 per week at United. More importantly, he is keen to link up with his former international team manager, Louis van Gaal, who is in charge of United. The presence of Van Gaal has already helped United persuade key international players like Daley Blind to the club. Strootman’s public confirmation that he wants to leave has not come yet, but he could force Roma into selling him if the Italian club show any resistance once again. Roma have been doing well in the Italian league this campaign and they remain in contention for the title.
“It is just not happening. I have told the papers that they should stop wasting paper. We don’t have any interest in selling Kevin. Obviously as business people when people call us and say ‘we want your player’ you are going to listen to them. You have to do that, that is the business side. That doesn’t mean you are going to make a decision that [an offer of] £75m, bang you hit the bid. That is not the way it is going to work, it is not the way it does work with us,” said Roma’s billionaire owner a few months ago.
Video clip Score: 4 / 5
With the Premier League season nearing the halfway point; it’s clear that there are some of the world’s best goalkeepers currently playing in England’s top flight. From the top of the table to the bottom, the Premier League boasts more quality goalkeepers than any other division in European football.
While there has long been a view that goalkeepers don’t really reach their peak until the age of 30, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United have all opted for talented young stoppers in recent years and the likes of Thibaut Courtois, Wojciech Szczęsny and David de Gea have all established themselves among the world’s best despite being under the age of 25. Continue reading →
Movie Rating: four / 5
While some might have seen Vincente del Bosque’s decision to drop Iker Casillas for David de Gea in Spain’s European Championship qualifier against Luxembourg was because of the Real Madrid keeper’s mistake against Slovakia, there is a strong argument to suggest this was an inevitable move.
While Casillas has endured a tough few years, de Gea has quietly established himself as one of European football’s most impressive young goalkeepers, and the time may have come where the young pretender finally claims his place on the throne. Continue reading →
Angel di Maria has become one of the standout players in the Premier League after his £ 60 million transfer from Real Madrid. He is also the most expensive player in the Premier League as result of this transfer, but he has so far been looking a great buy for United. He has featured in only two matches for the Red Devils so far, but di Maria has already contributed in several assists and has also scored a goal. His opening match for United came in the 0-0 draw against Burnley where he was extremely threatening on several occasions.
The real eye-opener came in the 4-0 win over QPR during the weekend. As United struggled to break through a QPR team that was prepared to sit back and soak up the pressure, di Maria came up with a stunning freekick in the 24th min to open his account for United. This instantly relieved a lot of pressure within the home supporters, who then were provided with a stunning performance from the Argentine. He also contributed in a few more goals before being substituted because of fitness issues.
After the match, Louis van Gaal praised the 26-year-old for his immense performance, but has also sent out a warning to the rest of the Premier League by saying that di Maria could improve even more. “When you make three goals and score the first yourself then you cannot play badly. But he had a lot of unnecessary losses [of possession], so he can do better. It’s nearly impossible to do better when you score one goal and help make three others, but I’m analysing the game and I see things we can improve on,” said the United manager. Di Maria was also in stunning form for Argentina in a recent friendly match against world champions Germany.
Movie Ranking: five / five