Struggling Arsenal have joined Manchester United and Tottenham in the race to sign Dutch hot-property Kevin Strootman.
The Gunners are third in the betting to be the top dogs in the capital this season. Spurs’ comprehensive 3-0 win over Fulham has pushed them out to 10/3 to be the leading London club come the season’s end, with AVB’s men now more likely at 3/1 according to the bookies.
The situation at the Emirates is showing no signs of improving and there is huge call from the terraces for Arsene Wenger to invest in his playing staff come January.
PSV star Strootman is rapidly emerging as one of the best midfield prospects in Europe and, at 22, has already won 15 caps for Holland.
Arsenal’s chief scout, Steve Rowley, was present at PSV’s 3-1 defeat to Ajax, along with a representative from United and it is thought that a bid of £20m will be enough to tempt the Eindhoven club to part with their prize asset.
Strootman’s all-action style means he could provide the solution to a massive problem for the Gunners.
With Abou Diaby perennially injured, Arsenal lack a genuine holding midfield player and Wenger’s decision not to replace Alex Song in the summer has come back to haunt him in recent months.
Mikel Arteta has been filling in front of the back four since Diaby’s latest setback and, while his distribution is excellent, he’s hardly the imposing figure required to stamp out opposition attacks, leaving Per Merteseacker and co without the protection they evidently require.
Strootman possesses both physicality and technical prowess which should see him fit nicely in with Arsenal’s approach with the ball, yet he will bring some much-needed defensive attributes to the table when they’re without it too.
If Wenger only buys one player in January (though it is advised he gets a few more) it has to be Strootman. However, with Man United sniffing around, it’s difficult to envisage him opting to make the north London switch should the current Premier League table-toppers firm up their interest.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date