Olympique de Marseille have signed Netherlands international Kevin Strootman from AS Roma on a €25m deal. The midfielder joins up with former coach Rudi Garcia at the Orange Vélodrome.
On Tuesday, Olympique de Marseille announced the arrival of Netherlands midfielder Kevin Strootman, 28, who had spent the past five seasons with Serie A outfit AS Roma - half of which was spent under the orders of current OM boss Rudi Garcia.
"He is a major recruit, especially due to his experience. He also has incredible mental toughness and strength of character; he is a world-class player," declared OM president Jacques-Henri Eyraud, with Strootman similarly enthusiastic about the move. "I think that OM is a big club, that people know all over France and the world. I spoke with the coach and the directors, and I want to help them reach their objectives. I'm very happy to be here. Rudi Garcia? He's a very special person for me. He signed me at AS Roma and now he has done it again here at Marseille. We have already spoken about different systems. I'm very happy to continue my adventure with him."
After Duje Caleta-Car, Kevin Strootman is OM's second signing of the summer transfer window and should form a world-class midfield pairing with Luiz Gustavo. The box-to-box midfielder is capable of scoring form distance as well as doling out assists. He has 41 caps to his name with the Netherlands, for whom he has worn the captain's armband on several occasions recently.
102 matches in two seasons
After coming up through the academy at Sparta Rotterdam, Strootman played for FC Utrecht and PSV Eindhoven before making the move to AS Roma in the summer of 2013. Seen as one of the most promising players in the world in his position, the Dutchman had his ascension waylaid by injuries, but after two seasons stymied with knee problems, he has played two excellent seasons. In all competitions, he has played 102 matches since the beginning of summer in 2016.
Kevin Strootman isn't the first Dutchman to turn out for OM, defender Karim Rekik and midfielder Boudewijn Zenden having plied their trade at the Orange Vélodrome in recent years. Further back in the past, Lambert Verdonk and Tschen La Ling also wore the sky-blue and white.