It has long been assumed that Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal wanted Roma’s Dutch dynamo, Kevin Strootman, to take over from Michael Carrick when the imperious Englishman hangs up his boots.
Although not exactly a like for like replacement, Strootman has similar defensive qualities, passes the ball extremely well and perhaps gets forward even more than the current Manchester United anchor man.
But, with another injury giving Strootman a major set back in his return form long term problems, there is a very real prospect that Louis will look elsewhere for more dynamism and guile in the engine room.
Reports today in The Daily Mail suggest that Manchester United will now opt for Ilkay Gundogan:
Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal identifies Ilkay Gundogan as long-term replacement for Michael Carrick
Gundogan himself has suffered from major injuries over the last couple of years. He was set to be the star of the German national side until he got crocked and spent over a year on the sidelines. But, now 24, Gundogan seems to have put this problems to bed once and for all and he’s played a full season for Dortmund this time out.
He’s technically brilliant off with feet and can feasibly play in five of the front six positions in a 4-3-3. He could even fill in at full back if asked. So his adaptability, twinned with great energy and technique could make him perfect for Manchester United.
Let’s see him in action this season. United fans: good enough to replace Carrick?