Talent Scout: Kevin Strootman

The Netherlands wrapped up their Euro 2012 qualifiers with a 3-2 defeat to Sweden on Tuesday. It was their first loss in Group F, for a Dutch side who were first to reach June's tournament show piece.

But amid score-lines such as the 11-0 romp over San Marino and the 5-3 victory against Hungary, coach Bert van Maarwijk knows he needs to find something extra from his side, ranked number one in the world, to avenge their second place finish in the World Cup. In midfielder Kevin Strootman, he may just have found it.

The 21-year-old is part of another blossoming generation of Dutch talent, but crucially for van Maarwijk, he brings qualities his side don't already have, but need, in the battle to edge Spain's global dominance.

A six foot one inch box-to-box central midfielder, Strootman is a former attack minded prospect, now honing his defensive skills, hoping to break up the static and aggressive midfield shield of Nigel de Jong and Mark van Bommel. The duo are effective, but against Spain's brainy schemers, they were forced to turn to brawn - and still lost.

Strootman is technically a much better match for the likes of Xavi, Andrés Iniesta and Xabi Alonso, but because he's also at home with the physical side of the game, has abilities than can be adapted to all situations. Add to a solid understanding of when to use his good upper body strength to best effect to a cultured and clever style whilst in possession, and you have a player who's superb in keeping his side ticking over.

Furthermore, unlike the more sluggish de Jong and van Bommel, he opts to shift the ball quickly and effectively, picking often the easiest but good options in good time, and keeping the pace flowing. But it's not only simple stuff that Strootman does well, his magic wand of a left foot is a dangerous weapon from a deeper role, giving him more time to pick defensive locks, and space to show off his accurate long range shooting ability. 

A summer move to PSV, after a short stint with Utrecht and 72 appearances for Eredivisie yo-yo outfit Sparta Rotterdam has helped take his game on to a new level. There's been no dramatic changes, but Strootman has tidied up elements, such as timing of runs forward, and generally improved on his consistency.

He's 21, and lacks the notable experience and international nouse of Van Bommel and De Jong, but with talent and time on his side, don't bet against Kevin Strootman playing a key in role in another Netherlands challenge this summer.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
Extras
indybest
Arts and Entertainment
Chocolat author Joanne Harris has spoken about the financial struggles most authors face
books
Arts and Entertainment
Characters in the new series are based on real people, say its creators, unlike Arya and Clegane the Dog in ‘Game of Thrones’
tv'The Last Kingdom' is based on historical events
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
filmSir Ian McKellen will play retired detective in new film
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
'Molecular Man +1+1+1' by Jonathan Borofsky at Yorkshire Sculpture park
tv
News
Glamour magazine hosts a yoga class with Yogalosophy author Mandy Ingber on June 10, 2013 in New York City.
newsFather Padraig O'Baoill said the exercise was 'unsavoury' in a weekly parish newsletter
Extras
indybest
News
people'She is unstoppable', says Jean Paul Gaultier at Paris show
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial
Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app - and my mum keeps trying to hook me up!'

Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app'

Five years on from its launch and Grindr is the world's most popular dating app for gay men. Its founder Joel Simkhai answers his critics, describes his isolation as a child
Autocorrect has its uses but it can go rogue with embarrassing results - so is it time to ditch it?

Is it time to ditch autocorrect?

Matthew J X Malady persuaded friends to message manually instead, but failed to factor in fat fingers and drunk texting
10 best girls' summer dresses

Frock chick: 10 best girls' summer dresses

Get them ready for the holidays with these cool and pretty options 
Westminster’s dark secret: Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together

Westminster’s dark secret

Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Dulce et decorum est - a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Dulce et decorum est: a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality
Google tells popular music website to censor album cover art in 'sexually explicit content' ban

Naked censorship?

The strange case of Google, the music website and the nudity take-down requests
Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

As England take on India at Trent Bridge, here is our pick of the high-performing bats to help you up your run-count this summer 
Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014 comment: David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

Captain appears to give up as shocking 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat threatens ramifications in Brazil