5 Dutchmen That Manchester United Should Sign This Summer
Now that Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has begun the evaluation of his current squad during the club's USA tour, the Dutchman will likely be looking to spot any gaps he could plug with potential signings.
Having just returned from the World Cup, with the 62-year-old's national side bowing out in the semi-finals, Van Gaal could look toward some of the more impressive Dutch charges to supplement a meagre squad, which underachieved under David Moyes last term.
With close ties to these players, it would surely be easy for Van Gaal to convince his compatriots to join the United cause.
Here are five Dutchmen that Manchester United should sign this summer.
Jordy Clasie, Feyenoord
Having already supplemented the midfield area within the squad, Van Gaal is said to be "chasing another central midfielder despite [Ander] Herrera’s arrival," according to Jamie Jackson of The Guardian.
Spanish midfielder Herrera, signed from Athletic Bilbao, will primarily act as a possession linchpin within the Dutchman's squad, and he has so far operated in a traditional No. 8 role.
This could leave Van Gaal searching for a more defensive-minded central midfielder—Darren Fletcher is an exceptional talent in this role, but questions over his health will always remain.
Feyenoord midfielder Jordy Clasie could fulfil this duty and would be an excellent solution.
According to WhoScored.com, the 23-year-old is hugely adept at the defensive game, making 3.2 tackles and 1.9 interceptions on average per game last season.
Furthermore, Clasie is a formidable creative talent, having made seven assists last season, with an average passing accuracy of 84.6 per cent.
A midfield three of Clasie, Herrera and Juan Mata in the No. 10 role would surely excel in the Premier League.
Memphis Depay, PSV Eindhoven
There is no doubt that, despite Ashley Young's brace in the 7-0 victory over LA Galaxy on Thursday, Van Gaal will need to address his paltry wide options this summer.
Players such as Young, Nani and Wilfried Zaha are all below par for the Red Devils, while Antonio Valencia can surely be upgraded on.
Enter Memphis Depay.
Depay also scored 12 Eredivisie goals in 2013/14, with Rooney only bettering this tally in league play with 17 goals.
Furthermore, according to WhoScored, Depay is an adept dribbler, making an average of 3.2 successful dribbles per game last season.
Nani made the most of the United squad last season, with 2.3 per game.
At such a young age, with clear quality and vast scope for development, Depay would be an excellent addition to Van Gaal's forward line, and could tie down the left-wing slot this season.
Georginio Wijnaldum, PSV Eindhoven
Along with Depay, Van Gaal could look to add to his attacking-midfield options by securing a move for the PSV man's team-mate Georginio Wijnaldum.
The 23-year-old suffered with injuries last season but still managed to score four goals in 11 Eredivisie appearances. He returned to form at the World Cup, making seven appearances.
Generally deployed in the central role, Wijnaldum would suit Van Gaal's system at United with a propensity toward a short-passing, possession-based game.
Per Squawka, the midfielder had a passing accuracy of 86 per cent last season.
Furthermore, Wijnaldum is a great defensive prospect in the attacking third, winning 65 per cent of his attempted challenges—this could see the midfielder vying with Danny Welbeck for this role.
It is unlikely that the Dutchman would walk straight in to the first team at Old Trafford, but he would be a great talent to add to Van Gaal's squad.
Kevin Strootman, AS Roma
Perhaps the most likely addition to Van Gaal's squad among his compatriots is AS Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman.
According to ESPN, the United manager claims: "I never usually say anything about individual players. But Strootman I can judge, but he is injured for more than six months. We have to wait and see how he comes back."
The 24-year-old was sidelined with a knee injury in March, missing the World Cup. He is set to return in the coming months.
This may postpone any interest from Van Gaal until the January transfer window, but there is no reason why a deal could not be put in place this summer.
Roma manager Rudi Garcia suggested, according to The Telegraph, that the central midfielder would cost the Red Devils in the region of £79 million.
This would shatter the club's record transfer outlay, and as such would require the perfect player for Van Gaal's squad in order to be justified.
Strootman is an exceptional blend of defensive solidity, making 3.3 tackles and 1.1 interceptions on average per game last season, and attacking might, scoring five goals and making six assists in 25 Serie A appearances, via WhoScored.com.
The physical Dutchman would be the ideal solution to United's midfield deficiencies.
Dirk Kuyt, Fenerbahce
Every Premier League squad needs a versatile workhorse, and this year's World Cup proved that Van Gaal is partial to a player of this ilk.
At the tournament, the United manager deployed Fenerbahce utility man Dirk Kuyt in various roles, relying upon the 34-year-old's boundless energy and mature diligence to keep opposition danger men in check.
According to Rob Shepherd of the Daily Mail, the United manager is interested in signing the veteran, claiming: "Van Gaal loves Kuyt's work ethic and he has been a low-key but high-end performer for Holland."
Able to play all across the front line and, as evidenced this summer, in the wing-back positions crucial to Van Gaal's preferred 5-3-2 formation.
Although Kuyt's ties to rivals Liverpool, along with a prohibiting age, may not make the Dutchman a popular acquisition, Van Gaal could rely on the tireless player as a short-term option.
Considering Van Gaal's options, and the performances displayed at the World Cup, which Dutchmen would be the best signings for Manchester United this summer?
Would all-rounders Jordy Clasie and Kevin Strootman complete the Red Devils' midfield?
Could young attacking options Memphis Depay and Georginio Wijnaldum supplement a depleted front line?
Would workhorse Dirk Kuyt be a sensible signing for Van Gaal this summer?
Or are any other Dutchmen more suitable for the United squad? As ever, let your thoughts be known in the comments section below.